There is a threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan – New Zealand Minister

New Zealand Cricket wouldn’t reveal the nature of the security alert, but a Pakistan government minister said New Zealand was wary of being attacked outside the stadium in Rawalpindi.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said it alerted NZC to a “credible, specific” security threat to the New Zealand team.

“New Zealand agencies have provided ongoing and consistent advice that Pakistan remains a high threat security environment, as outlined in the New Zealand government travel advisory for Pakistan which notes there is a significant threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan,” the ministry said in a statement.

“(The ministry) alerted NZ Cricket to information regarding a specific, credible security threat yesterday. We will not discuss details of the threat. Decisions about the tour were made by NZ Cricket.

“We understand how disappointing this decision will be for Pakistan and its cricket community, just as it will be for NZ Cricket and the Black Caps.”

New Zealand deputy prime minister Grant Robertson said his government supported the decision to cancel the tour.

“There was a credible security threat and NZ Cricket has responded appropriately,” Robertson said. “As is normal in situations like this it is not possible or responsible to go into detail around the nature of these threats, but it was credible and had to be taken seriously.”

Of the 34 members of the New Zealand touring party — players and support staff — to arrive in Dubai, NZC said 24 will return directly to New Zealand in the next week while 10 will remain in Dubai where they will join with the New Zealand team playing in the Twenty20 World Cup from Oct. 17.

NZC chief executive David White said his organization had no choice but to abandon the tour after advice of the security threat. He said specific details of the threat would not be released.

“What I can say is that we were advised this was a specific and credible threat against the team,” White said.

“We had several conversations with New Zealand government officials before making the decision, and it was after informing the PCB of our position that we understand a telephone discussion was conducted between the respective prime ministers.

“Unfortunately, given the advice we’d received, there was no way we could stay in the country.”