`Sri Lankan team security in Pakistan was insufficient’


Colombo : A Pakistani think-tank has said that the security cover provided to the visiting Sri Lankan team was insufficient and stressed that the Pakistan authorities “must pay attention to uncover the truth without wasting time on conspiracy charges”.

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“It (security) was not sufficient. They should have deployed the army or the commandos for the team’s security instead of special police force, because it was a big event in Pakistan and the Sri Lankan team took a big risk to come here,” Amir Rana, director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), has said in an interview with Sri Lanka’s state-run Daily News Friday.

A team of 12 terrorists Tuesday sprayed bullets and fired rocket-propelled grenades at the convoy carrying Sri Lankan players to the Gaddafi international stadium in Lahore, where they were to play on the third day of the second and last Test against the host Pakistan.

Seven players and the team’s assistant coach were injured and six Pakistani police officials providing protection to the bus carrying the players were killed in the attack. Three of the wounded players are recovering at a private hospital here.

Sri Lanka’s middle-order batsman Thilakaratne Dilshan, who narrowly escaped without injuries in the terror attack, said upon returning home Wednesday that the security cover for the two-Test series was relatively relaxed as compared to the one-dayers they played in Pakistan a month before.

The media report said that defence analysts and intelligence services of South Asia “are working hard to ascertain whether last Tuesday’s terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers was part of a larger plan to create diplomatic crisis among the South Asian nations”.

“The arrests into the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore indicate the investigators are trying to establish if the terrorists had any external links with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) or militant groups in India,” Amir Rana has been quoted as saying.

“The issue is why they targeted Sri Lankan team. Is it to create chaos? Did they have a deal with the LTTE? Hopefully this will clear within days�. Right now it is difficult to pin-point a specific group, but in Pakistan a few groups have used the same tactics in the past,” Rana added.