Sri Lanka to go ahead with Pakistan tour despite terror fears

Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva said they received the all-clear from the defence ministry to leave for Pakistan on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 19 September 2019

Sri Lanka to go ahead with Pakistan tour despite terror fears

  • Received the all-clear from the defense ministry to leave for Pakistan, says Sri Lanka cricket secretary
  • Six-match tour, due to start on September 27

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s cricket board Thursday said it will go ahead with its tour of Pakistan despite fears that players could be the targets of terror attacks during the six-match visit.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva said they received the all-clear from the defense ministry to leave for Pakistan on Tuesday.
“We have the green light from the defense ministry,” de Silva told AFP.
“The tour is on as we planned. I myself and our office bearers will also be accompanying the team.”
Reports last week of a possible terror attack were 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, with six players 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’s first match in Lahore after that was one T20 game against Pakistan in October 2017.
De Silva visited Pakistan last month along with a security consultant to check out the arrangements made by the hosts.
“They have promised security reserved for a head of state,” de Silva said.
The six-match tour, due to start on September 27, was put on hold last week after the Sri Lanka prime minister’s office warned the board it had unspecified information about a possible attack against its players.
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 commitment to providing security.
Ten senior players 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.­­


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.