New Delhi: Heads have begun to role in Pakistan after a sting by a British tabloid exposed a visa scam that could allow potential terrorists an easy route to sneak into the UK posing as support staff for Pakistan's Olympics contingent.
Islamabad on Monday suspended eight government officials for helping the undercover reporter acquire a computerised national identity card which is a prerequisite to obtain a Pakistani passport.
On Monday, Pakistan's Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik ordered the country's central probe agency the FIA to look into the matter and arrest those guilty within three days.
"We have suspended eight employees, including the general manager in Lahore, in connection with the scandal and launched a thorough investigation," NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik said.
Strict action will be taken if the NADRA officials are found guilty, he said. Earlier in the day, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik formed a special team to probe the British newspaper’s report on the visa scam.
The team includes officials from NADRA, Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and FIA.
Officials said a decision was made to launch a large-scale investigation within NADRA and the passport office that The Sun had reported was involved in the scam.
The Sun reported its journalist had infiltrated a criminal ring that offered false passports, visas and access to the 2012 London Olympics as "bogus support staff" of the Pakistani team.
The ring had provided its undercover reporter a genuine Pakistani passport in a false name, the newspaper reported.
With additional information from PTI