Bangladesh assess Pakistan security for tour



Bangladesh assess Pakistan security for tourLahore: A Bangladesh delegation arrived on Saturday to assess security for their team`s proposed tour to Pakistan, three years after attacks on Sri Lankan players saw international cricket suspended.

On March 3, 2009 gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus in the eastern city of Lahore, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven visiting players and their assistant coach.

The attack suspended international cricket in the country, stripped Pakistan of its 2011 World Cup hosting rights and forced it to play home series at neutral venues in England, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

The nine-member team will evaluate security arrangements ahead of Bangladesh`s proposed tour in April for three one-day internationals, invited by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) determined to revive international cricket.

They arrived in Lahore one day after at least 55 people were killed in violence in Pakistan`s northwestern tribal district of Khyber, a haven for the Pakistani Taliban on the Afghan border.

"This security team will evaluate everything regarding security issues before returning home on March 5 to prepare a report," said Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, the acting chief executive of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

The delegation is headed by BCB president Mustafa Kamal and includes BCB security committee member Imtiaz Ahmed Shamsul Huda and Bangladesh`s national sports council secretary Shafiq Anwar.

Senior civil servants and police officials are also part of the team.

Bangladesh last toured Pakistan in 2008 to play five one-day games, a series which they lost 5-0.

The interior ministry in Islamabad will brief the delegation about security arrangements. The delegation will also tour Lahore and Karachi.

Even before the March 2009 attacks, many foreign teams steered clear of Pakistan over security fears accompanying a wave of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked attacks that escalated significantly in 2007.

Other sports such as field hockey, tennis and squash have also suffered as Pakistan continues to be a "no go" area for international sportsmen.

PTI