Trust over security has "increased tremendously," he added.
With a relatively low total to chase down, Gladiators went past Zalmi courtesy an unbeaten 51-ball 58 from Ahmed Shehzad
Quetta Gladiators hope their in-form opener Shane Watson will make them third time lucky as they look to avoid another knock-out punch
Openers Kamran Akmal (74 off 43) and Imam-ul-Haq (58 off 33) set the platform for a massive target with a 135-run opening stand.
Islamabad will now clash with Peshawar on March 14 and the winner will face-off Quetta Gladiators on March 17.
Islamabad, champions in 2016 and 2018, were equal on points with their rivals in the league phase with 10 in as many games
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Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi have squared-off three times in as many seasons in the playoffs with the margin of victory being just one run
Hales, a top-order batsman for England, will be making a comeback to Islamabad United after representing them in four matches during the last season.
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