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No one travelled on fake papers for Olympics: UK envoy

Published Jul 26, 2012 10:04pm


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Officials and athletes from Pakistan parade during a flag raising ceremony at The Olympic Village in London on July 25, 2012. -Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom has no evidence of anyone travelling to Britain on a fake passport as part of Pakistan’s Olympic squad, said British High Commissioner Adam Thomson on Thursday.

Talking to newsmen during a visit to the National Press Club, Mr Thomson said that inclusion of unrelated persons in an Olympic squad was impossible because the accreditation process had been completed months before start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A few days ago a British tabloid, The Sun, claimed to have unearthed a ‘UK visa scam’, but the high commissioner said it was not possible for anyone to sneak into an Olympic squad through illegal means. When asked whether Britain trusted the process through which Pakistan issued passports, he said: “Britain is satisfied with Pakistan’s visa and passport issuance mechanisms”.

He said no visa and passport system in the world was perfect. “There may be occasional slippages.”

Mr Thomson praised the Nadra system, but said mistakes could be made.

He revealed that about 4,000 people were caught last year while trying to acquire the British passport through fake documents. Pakistan was a ‘global leader’ vis-a-vis fake passports and fake visas.

Answering a question, Mr Thomson said The Sun might have some proof and that the allegations were still being investigated.

He said the information regarding the scandal had been discussed with the Pakistani authorities.

The high commissioner said that uncovering of such scams was not about defaming an entire country. These (scandals) were individual acts which could happen in any country.

Talking about the Olympics, Mr Thomson said that over one billion viewers across the world would watch live the opening ceremony of the London games on Friday.

Important personalities, including heads of state from over 80 countries, would attend the ceremony. One million people were expected to visit London to watch the games.

He said the UK would earn 80 billion pounds from the games.

The high commissioner expressed concern over the number of Pakistanis seeking asylum in the UK and said he had raised the issue during a meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Answering a question about acquiring a British passport, Mr Thomson said Pakistanis should not seek help of unauthorised agents. “The system in place is very simple and the British high commission can be contacted for assistance,” he said.

The Pakistani hockey team has been placed in the same group as the British team for the preliminary round of the tournament.

“It will be wonderful to watch British, Pakistani and other international players set world records and bring home gold medals,” Mr Thomson said.


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Comments (5) Closed

Ali Vaqar Awan Jul 28, 2012 09:49am
Iftikhar Chaudhry should sumon Sun newspaper to appear in Pakistani court and face its charges. This newspaper wants to disgrace Pakistan and wants earn publicity. Shame on you Sun news paper for doing this.
Irfan Hussain Jul 27, 2012 04:52pm
Nadra system is one of the best NIC and passport systems in the world The guy hired by The Sun for the scam should be prosecuted in Pakistani courts for misleading and lying, if his claims are proven to be true
Plal Jul 27, 2012 01:46pm
Do not forget British High Commissioner is also saying"Pakistan was a ‘global leader’ vis-a-vis fake passports and fake visas.
Mohsin Jul 27, 2012 03:51am
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!!! where is every one??? helloo???hello???
m.y.saleem Jul 27, 2012 11:38pm
the british offial should ask these questions from their own newspaper.