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No security threat in Pakistan: PM Khan assures New Zealand

New Zealand's decision to call off the match at the last minute amid security threats has caused outrage in Pakistan. PM Khan even contacted New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern and assured her that there is no security threats as confirmed by Pakistan's elite intelligence.

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In shocking news, New Zealand’s cricket team decides to cancel its tour of Pakistan amid alleged security concerns. The decision was taken by New Zealand Cricket following “escalation in the New Zealand Government threat levels for Pakistan.”

On the advice of the New Zealand cricket security advisors, the team will not play the match in Pakistan. Instead, it will now return to New Zealand.

The tour, comprising three ODIs and five T20Is, was supposed to start today, with the first ODI in Rawalpindi. However, neither team left their hotel on the morning of the game. Authorities did not even allow spectators to enter the stadium.

The NZC said they “will not comment on the details of the security threat nor the updated arrangements for the departing squad”.

“I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount. We believe this is the only responsible option,” NZC chief executive David White said in the statement.

Read more: New Zealand’s Matt Henry seeks suggestions for local cuisine of Pakistan

Will New Zealand play?

The Pakistan Cricket Board, meanwhile, stated they and the government of Pakistan made “foolproof security arrangements” and is still willing to hold the match.

Moreover, Fawad Chaudhry informed that PM Khan spoke to New Zealand’s PM Ardern and assured her that there is no security threat.

“Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted the Prime Minister of New Zealand and assured that the New Zealand team in Pakistan has foolproof security and according to the PCB, the security of New Zealand itself is satisfied with the security arrangements in Pakistan,” the Minister tweeted.

The minister also stated that Pakistan’s intelligence is the best in the world.

“Our intelligence agencies are among the best intelligence systems in the world and in their opinion, there is no threat to the New Zealand team, however the Prime Minister of New Zealand requested to postpone the visit in view of the policy of extreme caution,” the Minister wrote.

Read more: Emerging new security challenges for Pakistan

Major upset in Pakistan

The decision caused a major upset in Pakistan. Amid the disappointment, Pakistanis hailed the decision as an embarrassment for the country.

According to Pakistani cricket fans, the decision is absurd as the government took all necessary measures. Moreover, the New Zealand team stayed in Pakistan for more than a week. The last-minute decision to call off the match is preposterous.

Moreover, Netizens criticized New Zealand and its alleged “security intel.” They reminded New Zealand of the Christchurch incident where the Bangladeshi team was close to the scene at the time of the shooting.

Interestingly, the news is being labeled as a deliberate ploy to malign Pakistan on the international forum. Pakistan went to great lengths to ensure security for the New Zealand team, at the expense of the population. As the New Zealand team traveled from their hotel to the stadium, authorities provided full protocol which halted traffic, causing inconvenience to the locals.

With New Zealand’s accusation against Pakistan, the hopes for a revival of cricket within Pakistani stadiums seem far away.

Read more: PM Imran Khan promises to fix Pakistan cricket

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