Islamabad (HRNW) The New Zealand cricket team’s withdrawal from their tour of Pakistan is part of a well-thought conspiracy, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed has said.
The minister said the visitors’ security in-charge told Pakistan’s officials that they have recieved a security threat. “When we talked to them, they did not have any convincing point,” said Rasheed.
He said it was hard to believe in the presence of a threat while all security institutions of the country — including the SSG, infantry and 4000 police officials — are involved in the security arrangements for the New Zealand team.
Rasheed said Pakistan gave the New Zealand officials an option to go ahead with the match without spectators.
When they did not agree with this, the Interior Minister said, Prime Minister Imran Khan was contacted in Tajikistan.
“He called the prime minister New Zealand and told her that the security arrangements in our country are perfect and there is no need to worry about anything,” said Rasheed.
“She told him that the New Zealand team had threats of being attacked if they go out.” None of Pakistan’s agencies received such threats, said the minister.
Rasheed, echoing the Pakistan Cricket Board statement, said New Zealand’s decision was totally unilateral and comes at a time when Pakistan is playing an important role in promoting peace internationally.
“This tour has been cancelled as part of a conspiracy.”