Pakistan recalls 2009 Lanka team attack

Pakistan on Wednesday remembered the first anniversary of the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team here last year.

updated: March 03, 2010 16:48 IST
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Pakistan on Wednesday remembered the first anniversary of the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team here last year and paid homage to the policemen and civilians killed in the tragic incident.

The law minister of the Punjab province, Rana Sanaullah and other senior police officials visited the Liberty roundabout to lay floral wreaths and pray for those killed in the attack.

Later in the day another separate delegation of the Pakistan Cricket Board led by chief operating officer, Wasim Bari also held a service at the site.

Hundreds of people also kept on visiting the roundabout throughout the day to pay homage and remember the horrifying moments of the attack carried out by militants linked to the Punjab Taliban.

"The attack was a link in a chain of conspiracy to destabilise Pakistan and hurt out image, but it also made our resolve stronger to fight terrorism," Rana Sanaullah told the media at the attack site.

Six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed and five Sri Lankan players, their assistant coach and a reserve umpire were wounded when a group of terrorist attack the team convoy on way to the Gadaffi stadium for the third day's play of the second Test last year.

The terror strike led to the abandonment of the series and also dealt a killer blow to Pakistan cricket as it resulted in the ICC moving Pakistan's share of 14 matches of the 2011 World Cup because of security reasons and since then no team has toured the country.

Since the attack contradicting statements and claims have appeared in the media with the PCB at one time confirming it wanted the match to be played in Karachi because of security threats to the players but the Punjab government insisted on having the match in Lahore.

The police has also given contradictory statements about the investigations but Lahore city police chief, Pervez Rathore told reporters that two suspected attackers were in custody while one was killed in a shootout in Dera Ghazi Khan.

"It was a big incident and we require more time to hunt down all those involved in the attack but we have made progress and we will arrest the remaining culprits soon," he said.

But Jamshed Dasti, who is Chairman of the National Assembly standing committee on sports, said that the Punjab government first needed to suspend or sack those police officials who were found guilty of negligence of duty while providing security cover to the Sri Lankan team.