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World leaders, experts express concern over Pakistan


Updated: March 6, 2009, 2:39 AM IST
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World leaders, experts express concern over Pakistan
The world is concerned with the escalation in violence involving Pakistani citizens.

New Delhi: What happened in Lahore on Tuesday to the convoy of Sri Lankan cricketers traveling for a match has not escaped the world.

"Great Britain and the United States share a deep interest in ensuring that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan are safe havens for terrorist activities. The safe havens for al-Qaeda remain in the Frontier regions of Pakistan. We are conducting clearly, a comprehensive preview," said US President Barack Obama.

Terrorists armed with assault rifles, grenades and rockets ambushed their convoy outside the cricket stadium in Lahore, Pakistan.

Gunfire tore through the bus carrying the Sri Lankans and explosions rattled nearby.
The players huddled on the floor and yelled out one after the other that they'd been hit.
For several terrifying minutes the Sri Lankan cricket team lay helpless, under siege by a band of gunmen.

The terrifying attack killed six police officers and a car driver and wounded seven of the athletes, an umpire and one of Sri Lanka's coaches.

It was indeed sad, felt many that while other teams had refused to play in Pakistan, fearing the escalating chaos caused by Islamic insurgents, Sri Lanka had agreed. They had agreed only after being assured its team would receive the same level of security accorded a visiting head of state.

But all those conditions had not been adhered to as is obvious in the events that unfolded.

"We are not quite sure what the Pakistanis can do, what they will do or what they want to do. I know that some Pakistanis are very concerned about this; they do not like to see their country as a homeland for terrorist groups. But it is the state that has to react strong enough actually to root these people out. It seems out of control for the Pakistanis," said South Asia Expert Stephen Cohen.

First Published: March 6, 2009, 2:39 AM IST
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