Pakistan to sue UK’s tabloid Sun
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said Wednesday it is to sue a British newspaper that claimed to have uncovered a visa scam that could have allowed potential terrorists into the Olympic Village.
The Sun tabloid said it had busted a racket involving a politician in the eastern city of Lahore that could have given access to the London Games as part of the Pakistani contingent in return for one million rupees ($10,000).
On Wednesday, the Pakistani cabinet ordered a libel suit to be filed against The Sun. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said “dirty propaganda was unleashed against Pakistan”.
“The cabinet ordered the NADRA (the National Database Registration Authority) 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”.
Pakistan’s Olympic chef de mission Aqil Shah also dismissed the Sun’s claims earlier this week.
The Sun said its undercover reporter was offered the chance to go to the Olympics posing as an official member of the Pakistani contingent on a two-month visa.
Pakistan’s 39-strong delegation — minus Shah — is already in London and consists of 23 athletes and 16 officials.
A government statement later quoted the chairman of NADRA as telling the cabinet that The Sun report was “totally incorrect, false and malicious,” and “seems to have been crafted to defame Pakistan”.
“The cabinet directed NADRA to immediately file a libel suit against The Sun in consultation with the ministry of law and justice,” the statement added.