Inside Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday stated that there was a “conspiracy” behind the cancellation of New Zealand’s tour to Pakistan — the group’s first in 18 years.
In response to a query, Ahmed declined to call the nation chargeable for the conspiracy however termed the cancellation “an attempt to damage our efforts for peace in the region”.
Addressing a press convention in Islamabad, the minister stated the New Zealand group’s safety incharge spoke to authorities officers within the morning and knowledgeable them of a menace. When the officers requested for additional particulars, the NZ safety incharge “did not have any”, he added.
Learn | ‘Extraordinarily upset’: Anger and dismay as New Zealand abandons Pakistan tour on the final minute
Pakistan had deployed commandos from Pakistan Military’s Particular Providers Group (SSG), troopers, and 4,000 policemen for the matches in Rawalpindi, Ahmed stated.
“We also tried to convince them to play the match without spectators. But they did not agree to it,” he disclosed.
The minister stated that the federal government’s group additionally reached out to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who’s presently in Dushanbe to take part within the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit.
“He called New Zealand’s Prime Minister [Jacinda Ardern] and assured [her] of [providing] complete security to the Kiwis. The New Zealand prime minister said there was no issue of a threat.”
Nonetheless, Ardern stated the NZ authorities had “received intelligence that the team could be attacked when it steps out to go to the stadium”, Ahmed added.
“It is their decision. We had deployed heavy security for the team. Pakistan is a peace promoter in the world. And this tour was cancelled through a conspiracy. It is their (NZ’s) problem and what they decide.”
The Nationwide Disaster Administration Cell had additionally tried to persuade the Black Caps to not name off their tour however they didn’t agree, he additional stated.
‘Indian media defaming Pakistan’
The minister famous that New Zealand’s safety group had visited Pakistan 4 months in the past and the tour itself had been scheduled months earlier than the Aug 31 deadline for withdrawal of worldwide forces from neighbouring Afghanistan.
“None of our intelligence agencies, which are among the best in the world, have any information about a threat. Pakistan is playing a major role in the region and they do not want us to prosper.”
Indian media was “defaming Pakistan”, Ahmed stated, including that its designs can be foiled.
“We have sacrificed before and peace will prevail here at all costs,” he emphasised.
Speaking in regards to the upcoming tour by the England group, Ahmed stated they’d make their very own choice. “My ministry has all [done] all arrangments,” he added.
“In our country, there is no security issue for cricket,” the minister concluded.
The New Zealand cricket group backed out of its tour of Pakistan earlier as we speak over safety considerations minutes earlier than the primary match was scheduled to begin on the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
In a press release, the Pakistan Cricket Board stated that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) knowledgeable the board they’d been alerted to “some security alert” and unilaterally determined to postpone the collection.
The New Zealand contingent in Pakistan is now making ready to go away the nation. The NZC stated Pakistan had been “wonderful hosts” however added that participant security was “paramount”.