- Says for the first time Army personnel were deployed to protect the touring team after a decision by the cabinet
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has said that the New Zealand team was given security of the highest order, adding that for the first time Army personnel were deployed to protect the touring team after a decision by the cabinet.
Addressing a media briefing in Islamabad on Monday, Rashid said it was the cabinet's decision to deploy Army personnel.
"The nation should not be dejected as the day will come when all the teams will visit us," said Rashid.
Rashid's remarks come after New Zealand abandoned its tour to Pakistan on the day of the opening One-Day International, citing a security alert from back home, leaving the hosts fuming and frustrated.
The decision, which Pakistan says was taken unilaterally by New Zealand, also put the hosts in a position where they were left wondering their next moves ahead of upcoming series against England next month.
The interior minister, however, said there was no problem in security given to the New Zealand team.
Meanwhile, the interior minister said that no new Afghan refugees have been received by Pakistan.
He maintained that 3 million Afghan refugees, residing in Pakistan, will be sent back to their homeland after the security situation normalises.
He pointed out that Pakistan has helped evacuate 16,000 people, including diplomats and representatives of IMF and the World Bank from the war-torn country.
To a question, the interior minister stated that India is spreading negative propaganda against Pakistan as all its conspiracies failed after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. He said that no one can hurt Pakistan's sovereignty and its armed forces are always prepared to give a befitting reply to the enemy.
Earlier, Rashid said Pakistan had not granted refugee status to a single person from Afghanistan.
Speaking at a presser, he said that the reports of a possible influx of Afghan refugees were premature as not a single Afghani had been given refugee status so far.
The minister said that Pakistan is a responsible country, which would fulfil its duty of national security and its international expectations.