Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Pakistani authorities search for Sri Lankan c -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Pakistani authorities search for Sri Lankan cricketers' attackers

Broadcast: 04/03/2009

Reporter: John Stewart

Pakistan authorities are conducting a desperate search for the gunmen involved in the deadly attack
on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore yesterday. Police today reportedly rounded up about two dozen
people for questioning in the hope of finding some clues about the identity of the attackers.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Pakistan authorities are conducting a desperate search for the gunmen
involved in the deadly attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore yesterday.

Police today reportedly round up about two dozen people for questioning in the hope of finding some
clues about the identity of the attackers. And while the hunt continues, the Sri Lankans have made
an emotional return home.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: Sri Lanka's cricketers were home. The moments played out in Lahore
yesterday still shockingly fresh.

TILLEKARATNE DILSHAN, SRI LANKAN BATSMAN (Translated): The first shot hit about half a foot away
from the driver. Only then did I realise they were firing at us.

Then everybody shouted to hit the floor. I heard some of the players shouting that they'd been hit.

JOHN STEWART: Others were just relieved to be among family and friends.

MAHELA JAYAWARDENE, SRI LANKAN CAPTAIN: I mean I'm just very happy that I could see the family,
come back to Sri Lanka in one piece and that every breath I take I am pretty glad that I can take
it without a problem.

I mean, you just think about life and everything is in front of you in a moment, just flashing
across when you go through an incident like this.

KUMAR SANGAKKARA, SRI LANKAN BATSMAN: A terrible incident. We were going the grounds and we were
ambushed on the way, and we're very lucky to get away safe and sound.

JOHN STEWART: In Lahore, the policemen who weren't so lucky were buried by grieving relatives and
the injured were still being treated in hospital.

But those responsible for the carnage seem to have vanished without a trace. Road blocks have been
established across the city, but efforts to track down the attackers have been unsuccessful.

For many Pakistanis the whole episode has been a national embarrassment.

IMRAN KHAN, PAKISTANI POLITICIAN: I think this was one of the worst security failures in Pakistan.
To see the type of security provided to the Sri Lankan cricket team was completely shameful.

JOHN STEWART: The Pakistani Government is offering a reward of almost $200,000 for help in
identifying any of the 12 gunmen. The Australian Government has also offered help with the
investigation.

STEPHEN SMITH, FOREIGN MINISTER: If it was of any assistance, the resources of the Australian
Federal Police would be available for investigative and forensic purposes.

Foreign Minister Kureshi was grateful to receive that offer and that will be considered.

JOHN STEWART: Investigators have yet to identify who might be behind the attack. But the militant
Islamic group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, is high on any list of suspects.

The Pakistan based LET are widely believed to have been responsible for last year's attacks in
Mumbai, and the Government is locked in a bloody struggle with Islamist insurgents in the country.

In an opinion piece published in today's 'Wall Street Journal', Pakistan's President Asif Ali
Zardari issued this warning:

(Excerpt from 'Wall Street Journal')

ASIF ALI ZACARI, PAKISTAN PRESIDENT (Voiceover): This is an existential battle. If we lose, so too
will the world. Failure is not an option. Pakistan's fight against terrorism is relentless.

(End of excerpt).

JOHN STEWART: And it will need to be.

John Stewart, Lateline.