Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


British tabloid’s ‘passport scam’ report fake, Nadra investigation reveals

Published Jul 25, 2012 12:49pm


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf chairs a meeting of the Federal Cabinet. – File photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal cabinet, on Wednesday, decided to take legal action against a British tabloid for publishing a fabricated report on Pakistan’s passport-issuing authority.

The cabinet announced its decision to sue UK-based tabloid “The Sun” for a story published in the paper on Monday, July 23, which alleged that a group of travel agents and a politician were involved in a scam, which allowed anyone to travel with the Pakistani Olympic contingent as support staff if they pay a certain amount of money.

However, an investigation conducted by Pakistan’s National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) dismissed The Sun’s claims and called its report a “fake scam.”

“There was no fraud or illegal activity done while obtaining the ID cards and passport of “the Sun Man” Mohammad Ali Asad,” a Nadra statement said.

According to the tabloid’s report, their “man” was able to get a fake passport issued in his name by bribing officials at Nadra.

The passport-issuing authority, however, said: “Documentary and video evidence proves that Mohammad Ali Asad was himself present for the renewal of his expired CNIC. Asad was picked by “The Sun” as undercover, who travelled to Pakistan on July 8. He went to Nadra office, Baghbanpura to get his photo updated against his own CNIC on July 10 rather than getting someone else identity as claimed by “The Sun” story. His CNIC was updated after matching with his previous record held in database. After getting his CNIC modified, he processed for his MRP (machine readable passport) on July 13, which was delivered to him on July 18. Since the same person applied to renew his own ID card and for provision of a passport, nothing illegal was done.”

Following the Nadra investigation, a cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, discussed the details and decided to pursue legal action.

Director General (DG) of Immigration and Passport and Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet, revealing details of the investigative report.

The cabinet stated that the scandal was a conspiracy of the British tabloid, which had been hatched to malign Pakistan’s image.

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said “dirty propaganda was unleashed against Pakistan”. “The cabinet ordered the Nadra to file a defamation suit (against the paper) after consulting the law ministry,” Kaira told reporters.

He also took a swipe at the paper, Britain's biggest-selling daily, saying it “does not have a good reputation”.

Meanwhile, a magistrate of a local court on Wednesday handed over four detained Nadra officials to the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) on a three-day remand.


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Comments (88) Closed

Ali Khan Jul 25, 2012 03:06pm
If this is true and is supported by evidence. As the British would say: "Its about bloody time". Take the tabloid to the court and sue them for an incredible large amount to teach them a lesson. Pakistan must make sure! that it spends $ required to hire CNN and few other news reporting mediums to tarnish the image of the tabloid. It should be supported with evidence / prove etc and it should be played again and again so it is drilled in to people's mind across the world. In doing so the term "British Tabloid The SUN" must be used. Nothing against Britain or any state but this to ensure that each country's govt enforces laws that prevents slander and nonsense especially at a state level. The cost for spending should also be recovered from the law suit. It is time that culprits are held accountable and brought to justice. Please remember a well known tabloid in U.K has gone under or folded for reporting false news and performing these so called set ups. Pakistan and its citizen's honour is sacred and it must not be compromised InshAllah.
amit Jul 26, 2012 05:26pm
Do and Deny, this is consistant policy of Pakistan. Remember 26/11 when all the terrorist were declared 'hindu" and persons named as "terrorist" in mumbai were produced as innocent citizen in Pakistan
Mohsin Jul 27, 2012 09:37am
now where is every one who were saying Pakistanis has definitely done that and now hiding the truth..!!! now face this reality that UK by themself admitted that there is nothing wrong in any of the documents
@FarooquiAdnan Jul 26, 2012 10:16am
The sun has unfolded major flaws and failure in their own UK visa and immigration system of UK border agency which means its shame itself and their system like roads trains and buses is not working properly. How much The Sun has paid in bribe to poor people to give fake interviews. It’s really shame that we live in modern times but some countries still live in stone or ice age and call them developed but their mentality is not developed and modernised yet. I think UK media must concentrate on the social and crime problems within their own country rather than worrying about others.
A. Khan Jul 25, 2012 02:32pm
I am afraid there is going to be more embarrassment for Pakistan after this cabinet decision.
YAhmed Jul 25, 2012 03:01pm
Syed Faisal Jul 25, 2012 02:43pm
We can't believe Pakistani version. Being a Pakistani i can say for sure that in our country this is not difficult. Only Judicial commission can uncover the real story not NADRA officials. We request a Suo Moto notice by Chief Justice and make an inquiry committee for it, otherwise these Govt. Officials will hide their corruption. Few years back the Cricket scandal, if were investigated in Pakistan, nobody could be convicted
Abdullah Hussain Jul 25, 2012 02:05pm
Please don't mix two things together. Yes I agree with you that our leaders in high office are playing a defaming game for Pakistan but we should not let its shadow fall on international conspiracies against Pakistan. Has anyone ever seen any of these tabloids using good words for Pakistan? They just keep on blaming Pakistan for everything. If a pancake burns in a foreign home they make Pakistan responsible for it.. HA HA HA!
Tauseef Jul 25, 2012 02:05pm
may na mano... is our typical reaction. don't forget to share the outcome of the legal action if it ever happens.
Essjay Jul 25, 2012 02:16pm
Just for information. Mr. Rehman Malik is already in London to opologise to the British government..... Pakistani politicians feed all those lies to public because the public is happy to eat all the lies.
A. Khan Jul 25, 2012 02:30pm
Is this a cabinet room or a football field ? How can this poor country afford this brigade of ministers and advisers ?
reason11 Jul 25, 2012 02:26pm
no, we have become a nation of infinitely self critical cynics!! read the news again, its "The Sun" which is immoral.
Imran Jul 25, 2012 01:35pm
Who exactly are the culprits? Would you care to divulge?
Shafiq Jul 25, 2012 01:26pm
say anything against Pakistan and every tom dick and herry will believe it without asking any question.
Essjay Jul 25, 2012 01:20pm
If it is fake / scam '/ fruad, why has Pakistan arrested and suspended so many NADRA and Passport office emplyees?
Mohammed Jul 25, 2012 11:08am
I didn`t think there was an image to malign.
Abdullah Hussain Jul 25, 2012 01:56pm
Unless you arrest some suspicious persons of the concerned departments how could you find clue to either accept the allegations or reject it. Investigation of a case is essential to determined the factual position. You look so disheartened!
Shahan Jul 25, 2012 01:56pm
I really hope this is not just another lie from the govt. The nation has reached such a point that it trusts no one. If our own govt can lie to us, who should we trust ? I really pray that the investigation was properly performed and not under the administration of Rehman Malik. Also , what is fake scam :S should I think that a fake fraud is a true event ?
Capt Khan Jul 25, 2012 02:00pm
Unwarranted criticism of NADRA and immigration makes them reluctant to serve the public efficiently. They have only one function: If someone walks in with any proof of citizenship, provide him/her with the service they request. Period.
innohunter Jul 26, 2012 03:44pm
The Sun is prestige newspaper? LOL! First of all its not a newspaper, secondaly its no prestige either. People who live UK can vouch for it.
innohunter Jul 26, 2012 03:42pm
Its called investigation. Accusations were checked they were found to be absurd
Raj Patel Jul 26, 2012 09:25pm
I have doubt about the news since begining, but somebody should ask NADRA also to produce list of Pakistani Olympions and support staff who are representing Pakistan so that one can acertain that nothing wrongly played. I don't think Pakistan is sending more then 30 olympion and 60 support staff. total would be around 100 guys. This is a simple steps NADRA can take instead of 1000 pages report. Don't you think this would have better effect then the report.
abdus salam Jul 27, 2012 05:44am
how do we knw who the culprit are?
Mohsin Jul 27, 2012 09:39am
All Indians!!! look at this link and then talk.
Malik Jul 25, 2012 04:14pm
seems obvious, these poms are always upto something when it comes to Pakistan.. look back at every cricket series between two countries starting from Mike Getting days... they deserve some back slap on their faces, but i wish we had gutsy people like Imran Khan who taught them lesson in Ian Bothom case... they seems to have some sort of unkown grievance with Paki's only GOD know why but they try to make every effort to pinch us when they have a chance.... PAK government should go back with full force.
Saad (DXB) Jul 25, 2012 03:53pm
A couple of months ago, i was visiting Pakistan and had the opportunity to travel from Peshawar to Rawalpindi via the Daewoo Bus Service. I met two Afghans in the Bus, both of which could not even speak a word of Urdu or even Pashto as they were native Farsi speakers. Both of them showed me their Pakistani passports and told me in English that they got them from Peshawar after paying a bribe of Rs. 100,000/- each. When asked how do they get away with it, since they clearly look and sound Afghan, they just laughed and said the Passport officials destroy the records after a month of issuing the Passports. Hundreds of such passports are issued each month they both claimed. They further told me that they will be getting the Pakistani passports for their entire families shortly. Pakistan is perhaps the only country in the world where you can Buy the nationality for a meager thousand dollars. I can only wonder how many spies from the neighboring countries have Pakistani Passports. I hope Pakistani spy agencies can urgently look into this matter and be proactive for a change rather than the usual reactive.
Zeb Jul 25, 2012 03:51pm
Wow!! "he processed for his MRP (machine readable passport) on July 13, which was delivered to him on July 18." Just in three days, he got his passport. They don' have guts to file defamation suit against the 'Sun' similar claims of filing defamation suit were made, when Pakistani cricketers involvement in match fixing was surfaced but no one dared to file any suit against them.
MartianRabbit Jul 25, 2012 03:45pm
So True Shafiq. I feel sorry for these Pakistan bashers and Pakistanis with low self esteem and inferiority complex. Any thing coming from the West is like a Holy word to them
Muhammad Farooq, Jul 25, 2012 03:38pm
yes the newspaper indulging in yellow journalism should be brought to the court of law without any delay and made to pay for this malicious propaganda.
True Pakistani Jul 25, 2012 01:13pm
- "fabricated report"? if the report is fabricated why then abid chaudhry is in hiding and some 13 officials have been either arrested or suspended? by the way pakistan is way, way beyond ridicule, embarrassment, shame, insults . . .
Nobble Janjua Jul 25, 2012 01:12pm
What a farce? Why does anyone need to conspire to MALIGN Pakistan's image/name? Are the PRESIDENT and Raja Sahib not the living proof of that? Have we become a Nation of Immoral imbeciles?
Ali Jul 25, 2012 01:52pm
In case you are not aware, it is called investigation when some one allege you for something of that sort you need to be investigated properly. Now it is the accuser to compensate you as he was to blame not the investigation authorities. And by the way, the investigation is still on to get to the bottom of it. You know there are cons everywhere and just maybe they tried to scam some money out of this person with out having any link to the Olympic resources.
Badar Jul 25, 2012 01:00pm
Simon... What proof you have that that SUN's report is true? They did not provide any proof. No extra person applied for British visa tio be part of Pakistan's Olympic contingent as they talked about in this report.
Abdul Majid Jul 30, 2012 12:30pm
well fake passports are every where. . In 2010 UK expelled an Israeli diplomat over 12 forged biritish passports...
Ali Jul 25, 2012 01:50pm
You forgot Ramu
Simon Jul 25, 2012 12:00pm malign Pakistan’s image.... what a joke! The Federal Cabinet is actually damaging the image of Pakistan more by coming up with these ridiculous plans of legal action instead of sacking and jailing the culprits.
Shahid Jul 25, 2012 01:49pm
It is shame for us as a nation we tend to believe more on foreign reports than on our own representative. I agree our representative, to some extent, is to be blame for this situation but we as a common people also need improvement in our mindset.
Abdullah Hussain Jul 25, 2012 02:11pm
Since day one I was satisfied that this breaking news by SUN was rubbish. Every efforts should be made to un cover the dirty trick to defame Pakistan. The govt should sue SUN and claim heavy compensation as damage.
Ahmed Jul 25, 2012 04:20pm
I hope the reported investigation is true. What will be worse will be a cover up operation. We can not correct things unless we accept our mistakes and rectify them.
smskhan Jul 25, 2012 04:22pm
oh please save your excuses where have you ever heard that official got arrested by police as part of investigation if everything is so rosy and clean and those people have been handed over to FIA there is foul play for sure and i know it personally things can change on your CNIC with few bucks in hand .... most important when did we start believing Qamar Zaman Kaira!!!
Ali Jul 25, 2012 04:39pm
There is only one thing I want to say to Pakistani politicians, stop taking monetary help from western governments as it makes them think that they can mess Pakistanis about without any repercussions.... Vote for Imran Khan......he may not be the best choice but he wont go grovelling to western governments. thanks
Syed Jul 25, 2012 04:39pm
I did not see the actual report. Question: Is this undercover able to get the UK visa as supporting staff to Olympic team? If that is ture than "Sun time" is correct. Getting a passport using your old CNIC is not the issue. The isue should be if this undercover passport submitted to UK consulate as supporting staff by Pakistan.
Malak Ghulam Jul 25, 2012 04:40pm
I do Wish and Pray that we are CLEAN (NEEKH) in all Our Actions. Then we will not have a Doubt neither will the World. Please ALLAH make us a NEEKH Nation. AMEEN
saeed Jul 25, 2012 04:44pm
Why are blaming Goverment . These same tabloid bring all the propganda and our people trust them more than our offical. .our common people bring more shame to country than our politician and elite,
Azeem Jul 25, 2012 04:57pm
ahhah Simon, the sun is owned by Ruper Murdoch.. who manufactured news about Iraq and WMDs.In america its common for the media to come up with fake conservative hit.Dont you know about the world ? their is a big profitable industry of professional lobbyist who smear countries or peoples. jobs . . The Right wing media always releases doctored videos. The Journalist who carried out the smear campaign and was working illegally as a journalist n Pakistan should be prosecuted.It should be illegal to work for Foreign Media who are filled with Political appointees of the host country and close links exist between special intrest and the media in the uk.
Ali Jul 25, 2012 04:59pm
There is only one thing I want to say to Pakistani politicians, stop taking monetary help from western governments as it makes them think that they can mess Pakistanis about without any repercussions.... Vote for Imran Khan......he may not be the best choice but he wont go grovelling to western governments.
Ali Jul 25, 2012 05:02pm
There is only one thing I want to say to Pakistani politicians, stop taking monetary help from western governments as it makes them think that they can get away with slandering.... Vote for Imran Khan......he may not be the best choice but he wont go grovelling to western governments.
Gerry D'Cunha Jul 25, 2012 05:18pm
We hear the same news/stories again. When our cricketers were caught taking bribe and the Sunday Times published the story, we head the same stories by the government spokesman, the paper has malign Pakistan's image/name - then what happened when the case was decided by the relevant court. Please face the fact and not to hide few persons corruption. The Sun is a prestige newspaper and has a large circulations in UK and abroad and it cannot publish such news in their newspaper without fact finding. NADRA officials should tour their passport offices in the country and find out the corruptions in their organisation before accusing the Sun newspaper for its genuine news.
Essjay Jul 25, 2012 05:18pm
NADRA chief Tariq Malik to file a suit against The Sun for ten billion pounds - £10,000,000,000. May be Mr Tariq Malik does not even know how much is ten billion pounds; he should have checked with Ministry of Finance - Pakistan's total foreign currency reserves are approximately fourteen billion pounds.... First $5,000 per truck, now this. The circus continues.
Saud Jul 25, 2012 05:27pm
Very well said. We should look at how these British tabloids have been involved in phone hacking and other unethical activities. Well done NADRA on presenting this report quickly.
sja Jul 25, 2012 05:33pm
To protect the world renowned reputation of the democratic government of Pakistan. Charity begins at home as is said always, Pakistan believe in it is evident from your observation.
Max Jul 25, 2012 05:45pm
Admin why dont you post my comments as they are bitter but reflect the truth which we all as a nation dont want to hear ..... ??? what kind of journalism is this where you pick and choose .
zia Jul 25, 2012 05:59pm
What was the nature of modification on NIC? Maybe he got his name changed by bribing someone in NADRA and then got a new passport based on that new name on NICD . That is as illegal as it can get!! . I am bemused at the way the word modified is slipped in the report above without providing any details of what this modification was. There in lies the truth.
Rizwan Jul 25, 2012 06:07pm
Don't you think there is a reason why we "tend" to believe foriegn reports against our own representatives. Our representatives in this case are nothing more than a laughing stock. They have done all they can to defame Pakistan and push it towards certain disaster. I would believe ANY report against our politicians any day.
Vjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj Jul 25, 2012 07:18pm
Hope the govt is not cheating its own people to coverup something
Ahsan Jul 25, 2012 07:51pm
Well, we all know SUN and it's ways very well here in England. It's a tabloid at the end of the day that prints a topless image of a woman every day in a bid to sell more copies!
GKK Jul 25, 2012 07:58pm
NADRA is one of the few good institutions in Pakistan and its efforts at developing fool-proof computerized data and Machine readbale passport have been acknowledged globally. Had it been some other govt dept i would've believed the report but there seems to be quite a few holes in the story published by Sun. Best is that NADRA takes the paper to courts.
Ali Jul 25, 2012 08:05pm
Sue the Sun. These Brits think they still rule the world and have demonstrated that they are hollow when it comes to their own identity. NADRA, stand up and reclaim our integrity.
anony Jul 25, 2012 08:07pm
Well done NADRA. Although I must admit I somewhat believed the story before, but dont blame me for that. We haven't been doing much good lately and corruption is still rampant in our country. But, I'm so glad that NADRA came out on top and clean. They should definitely sue the british newspaper.
Aftab Jul 25, 2012 08:10pm
If this is treally a scam, which I fondly hope it is, then what explains the arrests by FIA of NADRA officials, who are still in FIA custody?
Zeeshan Rasool Jul 25, 2012 08:16pm
The cabinet stated that the scandal was a conspiracy of the British tabloid, which had been hatched to malign Pakistan’s image. So the 'image' we have can get any worse? interesting.
m furqan Jul 25, 2012 08:17pm
Rosen Jul 25, 2012 08:31pm
Good point! Agree with you one hundred percent.
@dseth1 Jul 25, 2012 08:33pm
facts dont lie. Pakistanis are 2nd after nigeria
@shahg64 Jul 25, 2012 08:48pm
It is easy to feel defensive as a proud Pakistani, but we all know our government departments are full of corrupt officials, I dont know if this story is true or not, but I know this, that thousands of Afghans hold not one, not two but three or four official NADRA issued ID cards, when even many Pakistanis dont have these cards, secondly there are so many illegal Afghans, Chechens, Somali, Bengali, Indian, Kurdish, Irani and Iraqi people living in Pakistan with most of them aquiring not just ID cards but even Pakistani passports, this is such a dangerous security breach as they can do terrorism and the green passport will be banned world over. Who is giving these people D cards and passports, its not the SUN, it is our own greedy corrupt officials, these type of people should be hanged for harming the nation.
@shahg64 Jul 25, 2012 09:17pm
Dont get emotional, do you really think our officials are angels? I think we should thank all those who expose these criminals hiding and making millions in our name and giving our nation a bad name. If someone points out the black sheep, I am actually happy.....these people have given millions of Afghanis fake ID cards and Pakistani passports, the Afghani and other Al Qaeda people travel on our passport, which becomes blacklisted and people like you and me dont get visas, try to understand who is the enemy.
Manik Jul 25, 2012 09:23pm
When was Pakistan ever wrong. Its just a conspiracy against Pakistan by US, UN, Europe, India and Isreal. Pakistan is center of Universe and all evil forces are against Pakistan, to give bad name to Pakistan.
Yemeen Zuberi Jul 25, 2012 09:39pm
I will like to see follow up stories in this regard. The newspapers do not follow events in all cases to quench the thirst of information.
Raj Patel Jul 25, 2012 09:45pm
To keep faith of Pakistani Awam, NADRA can produce list of olympic players and support staff who are going to represent Pakistan in London. Pakistani awam intelegent enough to make out who is right. This is a simple steps NADRA can take and then do legal thing later on.
Rosen Jul 25, 2012 09:45pm
I agree with your point of view.
tikki Jul 25, 2012 09:56pm
Our entire country's system is immoral and corrupt,look at our ownself before we past judgement on to others.Sure the SUN maybe immoral but our system ain't exactly heaven bound either.Please refrain from using big words here,I'm getting a belly ache.
Satyendra Jul 25, 2012 10:28pm
Pakistan must make "The Sun" to pay for this Fake report.It is very cheap,outrageous and shameful report by The Sun. This kind of derogatory fake report in the eve of Olympics.. What a shame!!
Salar Jul 25, 2012 10:46pm
Aaaaaaahahaha, Ramu surely doesn't miss any opportunity.
Habib Jul 25, 2012 10:55pm
Get rid of your denial-defences.We all know it has happened in past.No reasons to say that it can not happen again.This news may be all fake but just because the news might b fake doesn't mean all-ok.We are corrupts and We support corruption , from a village street to president house.We all support it and we all are responsible.Our Denial-Defence is a curse.
Sweet Dee Jul 25, 2012 11:00pm
"The Sun is a prestige newspaper and has a large circulations in UK and abroad and it cannot publish such news in their newspaper without fact finding." Hahahahahahhaha!!!! That's the biggest lie i've heard today mr. "Gerry D'Cunha." Any Brit will tell you that 'The Sun' is a tabloid rag and isn't worth the paper it's printed on
KHATTAK Jul 25, 2012 11:42pm
If all Tom Dick and Harry are wrong then why the three NADRA officials are handed over to FIA on a three days remand. Read the last para of the story.
Abdul Muqtadir Jul 25, 2012 11:55pm
I want to see if NADRA wil really sue the tabloid. One would ponder whether this press release by the Cabinet that they intend to sue the tabloid is a fodder for the commomns through the newspapers to clear their names and then soon all will loose track of this "intention/ threat to sue"
muhammad Jul 26, 2012 12:16am
i don't really care about tom,dick,Harry and ramu why did the govt. of Pakistan believed it and arrested 12 nadra persons.
muhammad Jul 26, 2012 12:20am
And you would know right
guest Jul 26, 2012 12:39am
making easy fools of yourselves .. DISCRETION IS BETTER PART OF BRAVADO ..
m.y.saleem Jul 26, 2012 01:56am
our problem is that just on any report we start arresting cabinet says that british newspaper report is fake ,then why they arrested so many people and on what grounds?the media is also irresponsible and they will print anything if somebody wants it.the time has come that we should behave like a matured nation.
ali khan Jul 26, 2012 02:22am
Dude! it is quite evident that action was taken to initiate investigation. Remember mud slinging and an attitude to point mistakes of others will not achieve any prudent results. i.e. garbage in garbage out
sher khan Jul 26, 2012 02:44am
Wont be the first time
G.a Jul 26, 2012 02:50am
It's hard to believe either side. There was the match fixing scandal that proved true and there was the accusation of murder, no less, against the Pakistani cricket team by the incompetent Jamaican police upon Woolmer's death. Either way, it's an open season on Pakistan and we make every effort to give them an opportunity. Such accusations against India and I am sure the Indians would have buried them alive.
Raja Jul 26, 2012 03:17am
Simon if you are a british then I understand why you make comments like this. You must be a SUN employee or a british who hates pakistani people.
Ahmed Jul 26, 2012 03:53am
Why are over 100 people arrested as part of scam if everything is as rosy and cozy as minister Kaira claims?
Malik Jul 26, 2012 04:46am
we do not have mix things here, thats seperate issue and this does not mean all is bad, you bring new people in election. but you cant deny the hate Brits have shown towards us in every cricket series in last 20 years i remember........this tells the story if you are wise enough.
Atique Jul 26, 2012 06:27am
mr gerry..The Sun is not a newspaper..its a 'tabloid'.