POA, PSB rubbish visa scam claims by British Tabloid

Karachi: Pakistan Olympic Association and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) on Monday dismissed claims by a British tabloid that it had busted a visa scam, involving a Pakistani politician and officials, which could give access to potential terrorists to the London Olympic games.

A official in the Pakistan sports board said claims about potential terrorists entering the Olympic village using the Pakistan contingent accreditation credentials were absurd.

"Every official who is part of the Pakistan Olympic contingent only has his accreditation and travel documents issued after proper screening by the interior ministry, PSB, POA and even the IOC," the official, who declined to be named due to sensitivity of the issue, told PTI.

The "Sun" tabloid claimed that it had sent its undercover reporter to Lahore to bust the visa scam where fake passports and visas were being issued by the Pakistani politician in league with other officials through a travel agency and the politician had also claimed that he could get anyone into the Pakistan contingent for the Olympic games with proper accreditation and visa.

The PSB official said for the Olympics only those people are included in the contingent who are cleared by the government.

"Secondly even an individual who seeks accreditation to the games has to go through a process and his accreditation has to be approved by us, the POA and IOC."

Syed Aqil Shah who will join the Pakistan contingent in London as its chef de mission, also rubbished the Sun claims.

"I don`t understand how anyone can claim to get anyone into the Pakistan Olympic contingent or into the Games village because everyone who is in Pakistan squad or gets a Olympic accreditation does so after thorough checking," Shah said.

"Does this newspaper even know the level of security employed before anyone can even enter the Olympic village," he said. "I see this as nothing but an attempt to malign Pakistan`s image before the Olympic games and it is most unfortunate."

PTI

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