ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani officials are expected to travel to India today (Monday) to review security arrangements for a World T20 tie between the two teams that Hindu hardliners have threatened to sabotage.
Two Pakistani officials have been granted Indian visas, sources in the interior ministry told The Express Tribune. A third official – a representative of Pakistan’s High Commission in India – will join them in New Delhi.
World T20: PM to send security review team to India
Pakistan has said its cricket team will not travel to India to take part in ICC World Twenty20 until it is satisfied with security arrangements there. Authorities in Himachal Pradesh state, where Pakistan is scheduled to play its second match against India on March 19, have reportedly refused to provide security to the Pakistani team amid threats from Hindu hardliners.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan formed a three-member security team on Saturday to review security arrangements in India and decide whether it was safe for the Pakistan team to visit.
World T20: Security assessment team granted Indian visa
The director of Federal Investigation Agency’s Lahore chapter, Dr Usman Anwar, will head the team that also comprises the chief security officer of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and an official of Pakistan’s High Commission.
The team will meet the police chief of the Dharamsala city of Himachal Pradesh. It is also expected to discuss security arrangements with State Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The team will submit its report to the PCB.
Interior Minister Nisar formed the team after consulting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday. He has asked PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan to wait for security clearance before sending the team to India.
Pakistan must not play in Dharmasala: Imran Khan
Nisar’s cabinet colleague, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, also pitched in on Sunday. Speaking to journalists in Lahore, he said the Pakistan team would not travel to India unless the government in New Delhi assured its fool-proof security. “Pakistan should be assured that its players will not be mistreated or manhandled in India.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2016.
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