Indian cricket team would be safe, assures Pakistan

November 26th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) India Wednesday expressed the hope that the Indian cricket team would go to Pakistan in January after Islamabad said it was ready to address New Delhi’s security concerns.”I hope the cricket team will go and you will enjoy it (tournament),” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Islamabad at a press conference jointly addressed with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

“We will address all your security concerns. People of Pakistan are keen to receive you; so come to Pakistan,” Qureshi added.

“People of India and Pakistan love cricket. It’s like a thriller. So give us a positive pitch,” Qureshi said.

“Indian tennis players are in Pakistan. An Indian shooting team is in Pakistan. We were sorry to have missed the Indian hockey team. We are looking forward to receive you (cricket team),” he said.

The Indian hockey team was to visit Pakistan earlier this month but the trip was cancelled due to the security concerns.

The cricket team is slated to visit Pakistan for a series from Jan 6 to feb 19. However, there have been concerns about the players’ safety in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

While Pakistan’s assurance is welcome, India will conduct a thorough security check before any decision is taken on sending the team, a senior official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The two foreign ministers earlier in the day held talks to review the ongoing fifth round of Composite Dialogue.

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