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Match fixing case: Pakistan to probe conspiracy angle

Pakistan is keen to ascertain whether allegations of 'spot-fixing' against its cricketers in England were part of a conspiracy but would make "an example" of any player found guilty by taking "toughest action" against him, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said today.

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2010 15:41 IST

Pakistan is keen to ascertain whether allegations of 'spot-fixing' against its cricketers in England were part of a conspiracy but would make "an example" of any player found guilty by taking "toughest action" against him, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday.

Malik said that there had been conspiracies against Pakistan cricket team in the past and it was thus necessary to verify whether the new allegations too were part of a conspiracy.

"This incident should not have happened. We want to ascertain if there is any conspiracy against the team or to defame Pakistan. We know that there have been conspiracies against Pakistan in the past - we will consider that angle also. We want to get the facts and get them exonerated," he told reporters in Karachi.

He, however, said even the Prime Minister has expressed concern over the allegations and if they were proven, "toughest action" will be taken against those involved.

"I have spoken to (Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain) Jakhrani and whole leadership is agreed that if any player is found involved, we will make an example out of him," Malik said after chairing a meeting during which he and Jakhrani reviewed the 'spot-fixing' scandal.

Malik said the government is yet to send a Federal Investigation Agency team to London and this will be done only after receiving a report of British authorities probing the allegations against Pakistani cricketers.

He pointed out that the main investigation is being conducted by authorities in Britain, where the alleged incident had occurred, and FIA would not be able to carry out a probe there without permission.

"The Interior Secretary had spoken to the Scotland Yard's liaison officer in Islamabad and sought details of the information on the basis of which the British police had conducted raids and launched an investigation. The FIA chief too had contacted British authorities through Interpol," Malik said.

"We expect their reply very soon. If needed, a team will go for fact-finding and for interaction with Scotland Yard. We have written to Scotland Yard for this through Interpol and whenever it is convenient for them, our team will go," he said.

Asked if the secretly filmed video footage made public by the tabloid 'News of the World' was not enough for action to be taken against the cricketers, Malik said the evidence "needs to be tested" as there was a difference between a "journalistic and a criminal inquiry".