Sydney:Former national coach John Buchanan has urged Australia's cricketers to tour Pakistan next month as Cricket Australia prepares for a government briefing about travelling to the strife-torn nation, reports said Sunday.
The latest Australian government travel warnings for Pakistan highlight "a very high threat of terrorist attack, sectarian violence" and "credible reports indicating terrorists are in the advanced stage of planning attacks."
But Buchanan, who retired as coach after Australia's World Cup triumph in the Caribbean last April, believes the tour should go ahead to prove terrorists cannot disrupt daily life.
"I think it's bigger than cricket," Buchanan told Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper. "Cricket would be the medium by which you can keep making life as normal as possible.
"In terms of terrorism or any of those things that tend to dictate how people behave, my point of view would be to keep living like you would normally live.
"I guess that's a philosophical stance, but my opinion would be definitely to go, not just to Pakistan but if there were similar issues anywhere.
"That would be my personal viewpoint, obviously without access to the information Cricket Australia might have."
Buchanan recalled how Australia's Ashes squad of 2001 toured England and stayed in Belfast under the threat of attacks from the IRA.
In 2005, Australia's players had strong concerns about their safety after the London bombings, in which attacks on a bus and three underground trains killed 56 people.
"We were heading down to London when the tubes were bombed," Buchanan said.
"That was a concern but we took the approach to get there and make our own assessment.
"On the 2001 tour, when we travelled to London, there had been some IRA bombings before we got there. Once we got there the locals told us the areas that were safe and the areas that weren't.
"A lot of the time our impressions of how dangerous things may be are somewhat exaggerated when you are actually in the place.
"I remember being on a tour to Sri Lanka. (Assistant coach) Tim Nielsen and I, along with the Australian High Commissioner, were the first white people to get on a military plane and head up to Janpur.
"There was a ceasefire, we were the first plane up there, and we did a little coaching camp for them. There are issues in most countries."
Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advice would be crucial in a final decision to tour Pakistan.
"There will be a visit to Canberra for a government briefing in early March," Young said Sunday.
"It'll involve Cricket Australia and the players' association. We will talk to the department and take a briefing from them. We'll be keen to know what various government agencies are advising.
"We'll get the most detailed inside information before we sit down with the players and the players' association to make the next step."