Sri Lanka optimistic about saving Pakistan tour

Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga, left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal during the first One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on July 26, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Sri Lanka optimistic about saving Pakistan tour

  • Sri Lanka Cricket expresses satisfaction over security arrangements
  • Ten senior players had opted out of the tour citing security concerns

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s cricket board remains hopeful of going ahead with its tour of Pakistan but will await the final all-clear from the defense ministry, an official said Wednesday.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva said he was satisfied with the security arrangements of their hosts, but reports last week of a possible terror attack had been referred to the defense ministry for investigation.
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.
Since the attack, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.
Sri Lanka played one T20 match against Pakistan at Lahore in October 2017.
De Silva told AFP: “Earlier last month I visited Pakistan along with our security consultant and we were satisfied with the arrangements.
“They have promised security reserved for a head of state.”
The six-match tour, due to start on September 27, was put on hold last week after Sri Lanka’s prime minister’s office warned the board that it had unspecified information about a possible attack against its players.
Sri Lanka Cricket did not call off the tour, but instead asked the government to reassess the security situation and make a final determination about the fate of the tournament.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said it was not aware of any information relating to the safety of the Sri Lankan team, but has reiterated its commitment to provide security.
Ten senior players have opted out of the tour citing security concerns.
Sri Lanka has already announced two squads for the three One-Day Internationals and the three T20 matches starting September 27.


Evacuation procedures in place for Pakistanis if Lebanon protests escalate

Updated 19 October 2019

Evacuation procedures in place for Pakistanis if Lebanon protests escalate

  • No immediate plan to evacuate Pakistani expats from Lebanon
  • Over 700 working class Pakistani expats reside in Lebanon

Islamabad: Standard operating procedures are in place to evacuate Pakistanis from Lebanon in case the unrest in Lebanon escalates, a spokesperson at Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Arab News on Saturday as anti-government demonstrators in Lebanon directed fiery, violent protests at a political elite they blame for a failing economy.

Angry protesters took to the streets across Lebanon on Thursday, agitated by rising inflation and cumbersome tax reforms. Major roads in Beirut including those leading to and from the airport remain blocked by mobs which routinely set tires ablaze on key routes and highways.

“SOP’s are in place for the evacuation of Pakistanis if matters escalate,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media. He added the foreign office was monitoring the situation.

“There are between 700-800 Pakistani expats in Lebanon, however they are not being evacuated,” he said. 

“It’s a developing situation, and the ministry will apprise accordingly.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri gave his government partners a 72-hour deadline to agree on reforms that could ward off an economic crisis and hinted that he may otherwise resign.