The decision to launch legal action in Britain
marks a rapid U-turn after Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister,
initially promised to arrest anyone involved.Now, however, it seems ministers have had a change of heart and are claiming to be innocent victims of a tabloid sting.
this week The Sun said it had uncovered a racket in the eastern city of
Lahore that could have allowed potential terrorists access to the
London games as part of the Pakistani contingent, in return for about
£7000.At a meeting of the Pakistani cabinet, ministers ordered a libel suit to be filed against The Sun in response.
Zaman Kaira, the Information Minister, said: "Dirty propaganda was
unleashed against Pakistan." He added that the cabinet had ordered the
National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) – the agency at the
centre of the alleged scandal – to file a defamation suit.
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He also took a swipe at the paper saying it "does not have a good reputation".
was followed by Tariq Malik, Nadra chairman, who claimed the story was
concocted after the authority beat British firms to a £100m contract in
Kenya."The story appears to have been crafted to defame Pakistan against this background," he said.
Four officials and three travel agents have now been released from detention.
government's position will not surprise critics who say ministers
prefer to blame anti-Pakistan conspiracies rather admit the country's
failings.A similar response followed a News of the World
investigation two years ago that Pakistani cricketers were involved in
spot-fixing.At the time, the Pakistani High Commissioner to
London said he believed Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir had
been "set-up" and may have been victims of doctored videos.All three were eventually convicted and served prison sentences in the UK.
spokesperson for The Sun said the story was another example of the
paper's tradition of investigative journalism: "We are not aware of any
such claim being made against us. If such were to be filed The Sun
stands by our story and we would vigorously defend it."
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