It's basically another exams cock-up or "security breach". And students in Pakistan who took the exams a month ago are understandably unamused that they will have to take the exams again - after booking holidays, getting rid of the course books etc.
The explanation provided by the British Council spokesman is as follows:
When contacted, Shahid Ashraf from the British Council said the paper was leaked due to time difference of exam conducted in Pakistan and other countries. He said that same paper is conducted across the world, which is a major reason of security breach outside Pakistan.
Doh! Time difference. Now why didn't I think of that? The same paper is conducted across the world. "A major reason of security breach". You can't beat hindsight. If that is policy then the British Council have just had an overdue wake-up call. People are in touch worldwide 24/7 so enterprising exam students can share information and assist other students who are in a different time zone. Somebody write a memo.
But hang on a minute, look at the subjects of the exam papers: Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies. Now maybe I'm being a little blinkered here, but my wild guess would be that most students of Pakistan Studies would be in Pakistan (and there is no reported row further to the West in, say, Saudi or Britain), so it shouldn't be too hard to identify centres where these exams were taken on the same day (and the individuals) just a few time zones to the East. Such as Hong Kong. Neither should it be too hard for the British Council to get on top of the concept of time zones, social media, exam data on the Internet etc.If you are going to enjoy all the advantages (euphemism for money) of being an international organisation, then a little extra work would not go amiss. Not to have prepared for this eventuality, particularly in the case of Pakistan Studies for heaven's sake, smacks of more BC incompetence.