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Pakistan MPs accuse Govt over security

Pakistan lawmakers accused the government of a 'serious security lapse' over the Sri Lankan cricket attack and cited reports that the authorities were warned of a possible attack.

world Updated: Mar 05, 2009 19:53 IST

Pakistan lawmakers on Thursday accused the government of a "serious security lapse" over the Sri Lankan cricket attack and cited reports that the authorities were warned of a possible attack.

The foreign relations committee of the Senate, or upper house of parliament, expressed "deep sorrow and regrets" for Tuesday's attack, which left six police and two civilians dead, and seven Sri Lankan cricketers wounded.

It "urged the government to investigate how such a serious lapse of security could occur when there were reports from within the government agencies that such an attack could be in the offing," the committee said in a statement.

The statement followed international criticism over security arrangements in Lahore, where the attack raised questions about the effectiveness of Pakistan's war on Islamic militants.

"This attack has inflicted a serious damage to the image of Pakistan and to the game of cricket in Pakistan," the foreign relations committee said.

Lawmakers urged the government to "fully investigate this crime, trace the terrorists and punish the perpetrators of this crime."

Earlier a top government official in Lahore conceded there were gaps in security provision for the Sri Lankan team.

"A terrorist has to succeed only once, whereas security has to be successful all the time," Khusro Pervaiz, the commissioner of Lahore, told AFP.

"After every incident one gets wiser. You get to know all the gaps and how you should not repeat those gaps," he added.

Pakistani authorities were conducting a thorough review of security, with an investigation into the breaches due to wrap up in two days' time, Pervaiz said.

The commissioner praised the bravery of police who laid down their lives but said security on the outer cordon needed to be investigated.

"We should put more professionalism in all the security apparatus, to come up to the expectation of the nation," he said.

"We are taking a very comprehensive review of the security apparatus and we would like to see how we can be more effective in dealing with acts of terror," Pervaiz said.