Security concerns arise ahead of Bangladesh tour of Pakistan

PCB officials themselves were concerned with the lack of urgency shown by some security agencies Getty Images

Lahore: Apr 19, 2012

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s claim about the federal government not cooperating with the province on security issues relating to the upcoming tour by Bangladesh has set the alarm bells ringing ahead of the much-anticipated matches.

Although senior Pakistan Cricket Board officials hastened to play down the comments by Shahbaz but cricket analysts believe the PCB needs to be very careful about the security plan for the two matches to be played by Bangladesh here later this month.

“It is alarming what Shahbaz Sharif has said. He clearly is not happy with the federal government for not cooperating with the province,” one senior analyst said.

“Until now the centre is not cooperating with us at all on the security preparations for the Bangladesh series,” Shahbaz told the media at a public function.

Sources within the Board said the PCB officials themselves were concerned with the lack of urgency shown by some security agencies in sending in their briefs for the security plan for the series.

“That is one reason why the issue of sending the security plan to the ICC has been delayed,” a source said.

“The PCB is coordinating with all relevant agencies and departments to prepare the security plan and feedback and comments have come in late,” he added.

Nadeem Sarwar, the media spokesman for the Board, said the security plan for the series would be sent to the ICC soon.

“The plan has been prepared now and will be sent by tonight definitely. There is no delay,” Sarwar added.

The ICC will only appoint match officials if it approves the security plan sent by the PCB otherwise the hosts will have to appoint non neutral umpires and other match officials something which is not acceptable to the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

BCB President Mustafa Kamal made it clear on Wednesday that the tour would only take place if the ICC gave its full backing.

Bangladesh will be the first Test-playing nation to visit Pakistan since March, 2009 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding five of the visiting players. (PTI)