World T20: Pakistan security team arrives in India

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LAHORE (Web Desk) – Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday has sent a security team to India to survey the situation on the ground before the country’s cricket squad travels to play against their arch-rival during an upcoming India-Pakistan World T20 tie.

The teams are set to square off in India s Kolkatta, Dharamsala and Mohali during the World Twenty20 s first round that kicks off on March 8 and ends on April 3.

Islamabad have already voiced concerns about security in India, saying there were specific threats from Hindu activists who forced the cancellation of a meeting between cricket officials from the two countries in Mumbai last October.

The three-member Pakistan security team comprises Director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Usman Anwar, a security officer Colonel (retd) Mohammad Azam and an official of Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi.

According to the Interior Ministry sources, visas were issued to two members of the security team which will be departing for India. A third member of the team is already in New Delhi.

Pakistan delegation will be meeting the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) and Police Chief of Dharamshala and will prepare a report. The team will report their findings to the Interior Ministry and PCB upon which the decision to send the Pakistani side to India will be made on Wednesday.

The South Asian adversaries have not played a bilateral series for more than three years amid diplomatic tensions.
Pakistan s team is scheduled to leave for India next week; however, the interior minister said the trip could be delayed if conditions on the ground are found to be unsatisfactory.

“It will make no difference if we have to delay the team s departure until we get a clear message that India is safe for our team,” said Khan.

“People of Pakistan want their team to take part in the T20 but at the same time we cannot remain oblivious to the threats being hurled out by extremist organisations in India.”

Earlier, Anti-Terrorist Front of India had threatened to dig up the pitch of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium or HPCA Stadium for holding Pakistan and India scheduled match under World Twenty20 event.

According to sources, the Indian extremists had warned the local administration of vandalism if it holds the match.

“If the Pakistan team come to Dharamsala to play against Indian cricket team, we will dig the pitch in HPCA stadium,” Virender Shandilya, national president of Anti-Terrorist Front of India, said.

Shandilya claimed that he had written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard and will also meet state chief minister Virbhadra Singh and leader of opposition PK Dhumal.

On the other hand, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had assured foolproof security to Pakistan for the World Twenty20 in India.

2016-03-07

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