ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed on Friday termed abrupt cancellation of Pakistan tour by New Zealand cricket team as a conspiracy saying that security institutes did not receive any threat in this regard.
Talking to media after New Zealand cricket board called off series with Pakistan over security concerns interior minister said that our institutions tried to persuade but New Zealand made its decision.
“New Zealand’s prime minister spoke to our prime minister conveying that the team could be attacked after stepping out of their hotel,” he said adding that Imran Khan assured complete security to the team.
“We also offered New Zealand to play matches without public attendance after the recent development, however, they did not agree to it,” he said while terming the cancellation of the tour as a conspiracy but stop short of taking the name of those behind it.
The Interior Minister shared that 4000 cops were deployed for the security of the New Zealand team along with other security agencies. He said that the same forces who wanted to hurt Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region are behind the cancellation of the New Zealand cricket team’s tour.
“This is an effort to tarnish our image and the New Zealand authorities unilaterally decided to cancel the tour,” he said.
The interior minister lamented that Indian media was peddling propaganda against Pakistan, however, they would not bow to such efforts and would lead the country towards prosperity under the leadership of Imran Khan.
He further shared that they have learned that the England cricket team is also mulling over canceling the Pakistan tour and the next 48 hours are important in this regard.
“On our part, we have made all arrangements for the England cricket team’s tour,” Sheikh Rasheed said.
When asked by the journalist if you will resign, responding to this, the minister said that one should speak wisely adding this is not a failure of the Interior Ministry. In response to another question, Sheikh Rashid said that the England cricket board is also considering their tour to Pakistan and will decide in 24 hours. He said arrangements for the British team are complete, the decision is up to them.