Pakistan news February 4, 2010

Delay in Lahore attack report irks parliamentary panel

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan's National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports has asked for an explanation from security officials over the delay in the release of a report on the terror attack on Sri Lanka's cricketers in March last year. However, a senior federal government official told the panel that the government had yet to receive a report on the incident from the provincial authorities.

The report was compiled by a judicial commission last year and was supposed to be submitted to the parliamentary committee by the Punjab government by September. "On numerous occasions we demanded a copy of the report but have not received any from the Punjab government," Ismail Qureshi, the official, told the committee.

The Sri Lankan team was on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the third day's play in the second Test, when terrorists opened fire at their bus, killing six policemen and two civilians, and injuring six team members and reserve umpire Ahsan Raza. The attacks forced the Sri Lankan government to recall its team, and in the aftermath, Pakistan lost the right to host the 2009 Champions Trophy and its share of 2011 World Cup matches.

Parliamentary sports committee chief Jamshed Dasti informed the chief secretary of Punjab, and the inspector general of its provincial police had been summoned to appear before his committee later this month.

The committee also recommended that all PCB accounts should be kept with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) - a move that would help in checking the PCB's financial autonomy, which has been a concern. It believed that the federal government would then be able to plug any financial irregularities which have damaged the reputation of the board.

"Keeping the accounts with so many private banks will not resolve the financial issues of the board," Dasti said. "The only solution which all the members have agreed with is to keep the keys with the SBP."

The committee also discussed the team's dismal performance in Australia recently, the IPL fiasco as well as former captain Javed Miandad's dispute with the board. Ijaz Butt, the PCB chief, also came under severe criticism for not running PCB affairs properly.