LONDON   -  A team of British firearms officers will oversee security arrangements for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s landmark visit to Pakistan in the autumn.

The step underlines the intense security arrangements being made for the most high-risk Royal tour in years.

Daily Mail on Sunday learned that a group of firearms officers will fly into Pakistan ahead of the tour to assess potential risks. Operating from the British Embassy, they will check routes, venues and airfields at locations due to be visited by the Duke and Duchess.

A senior source said that while advance security checks were normal, the involvement of the armed police team was an acknowledgement that Pakistan is ‘a potential flashpoint’.

The source added: ‘There are simply so many people and so many opportunities for things to go wrong.’ There is particular concern at the potential threat posed by extremists hiding in the huge crowds greeting the couple.

Taliban and IS suicide bombers have previously managed to evade tight security and kill or maim political leaders in Pakistan, including its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who was murdered by a suicide bomber in 2007.

Destinations during the tour are being kept a closely guarded secret but they are likely to include areas that the Foreign Office advises British citizens not to visit on safety grounds.

The ring of steel around the Duke and Duchess is similar to the one imposed when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Pakistan in 2006. On that tour, an anti-western backlash against the killing of 80 suspected militants forced the cancellation of a planned visit to Peshawar.

Kensington Palace declined to comment on the information.