Pakistan assures full security as Sri Lanka warned over terror threat during trip

Sri Lanka’s cricket board said Wednesday it had received warnings its national team could be the target of a terror attack during an upcoming tour of Pakistan. (AP/File)
Updated 12 September 2019

Pakistan assures full security as Sri Lanka warned over terror threat during trip

  • Pakistan Cricket Board says will continue to address Lankan reservations
  • Ten senior Sri Lankan players have already opted out of the tour citing security concerns

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s cricket board said Wednesday it had received warnings its national team could be the target of a terror attack during an upcoming tour of Pakistan.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office had received “reliable information of a possible terrorist threat” against the national squad ahead of the six-match limited overs tour, the board said.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stopped short of calling off the tour, but said a reassessment of the security situation would be sought from Sri Lankan government authorities.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it was not aware of any information relating to the safety of the Sri Lankan team, but reiterated its committment to provide security.
“We have seen the SLC statement, but are not privy to any information or intelligence report relating to safety of the SL team,” the PCB said on Twitter.
“The PCB reiterates its commitment to provide complete safety and security to the SL side and in this relation will continue to work with the SLC.”
The Sri Lanka team was the target of an attack during a Test match in Pakistan’s Lahore in March 2009. Six Sri Lankan players were injured when gunmen attacked their bus. Six Pakistan policemen and two civilians were killed.
Ten senior players have already opted out of the tour citing security concerns.
Sri Lanka played one T20 match against Pakistan at Lahore in October 2017.
The latest statement from Sri Lanka Cricket came a short while after the board announced two squads for the three One-Day Internationals and the three T20 matches starting September 27.
Since the 2009 attack, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.