India promises ’state-level’ security to visiting Pak cricket team

March 26th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Mar 26(ANI): India has promised ’state-level’ security to the Pakistan cricket team visiting the country for the remaining World Cup matches, in response to apprehensions that terrorists would try to target the players during the tournament.

“Indian officials promised special security to Pakistan’s cricket team,” The Express Tribune Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua, as saying.

Janjua said she hoped that the Indian government would do its best to provide watertight security to the visiting Pakistan team in India.

Responding to a question about visas, she said that India would relax its visa rules for the Pakistani fans travelling to the neighbouring county to watch the mouth-watering match.

The government is in discussions with the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Indian High Commission to arrange special visas for Pakistani fans, she added.

According to an Indian High Commission official in Islamabad, more than 5,070 visas have already been issued to Pakistanis to watch the much-awaited Indo-Pak semi-final clash.

Janjua said that New Delhi had informed Islamabad that those having confirmed tickets would be issued visas on a priority basis.

She, however, declined to comment on the Shiv Sena chief’s statement regarding threats to the Pakistani team, saying: “It’s not the proper time to comment on the statement.”

The head of the right-wing Hindu group had said last month that the Shiv Sena would decide if Pakistan should be allowed to play in Mumbai, if it reaches the World Cup’s final, which is to be played in Mumbai on April 2.

Earlier this week, Pakistan had sent a formal request to New Delhi through its High Commission for special security for the visiting cricket team.

When asked during a press briefing about the arrangements made by India for the Pakistani cricket team that will play semi-finals in Mohali on March 30, she replied: “Our High Commissioner in New Delhi has been assured by the Indian Government the security of Pakistani cricket players.”

“When any country decides to host such an important event it takes responsibility to provide security. And India has assured us security of our players,” Janjua added. (ANI)

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