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Press Trust Of India
Lahore/New Delhi, April 04, 2012
India has pulled out of the three-nation international hockey tournament in Pakistan after its external affairs ministry refused permission on security grounds, forcing the Pakistan Hockey Federation to call off the event.

Malaysia, the third team in the tournament proposed to be held in Lahore from April 9 to 13, had withdrawn two days back.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa told a press conference in Lahore that the Indian hockey authorities informed that their foreign ministry had advised them not to send the team to Pakistan due to security concerns.

"It's with deep regret we have to announce that India has said it can't send its team for the competition," Bajwa said.

"We had completed all arrangements and were expecting a final nod from the Indian Hockey Federation regarding the travel plan of their side but to our surprise they informed us that their government had not granted permission for the team to visit Pakistan due to security reasons," he said.

"The Indian foreign ministry feels security situation in Pakistan are not ideal for international hockey, that is why India is not coming," he added.

Hockey India, however, said in a statement in New Delhi that it was keen to take part in the tournament but had been advised by the external affairs ministry not to travel to Pakistan "unless backed by credible high level assurances of security from Pakistan side".

"Ministry of external affairs has sent a communication dated 3 April 2012 conveying that in view of the security situation prevailing in Pakistan, the visit of the Indian Hockey team would not be advisable unless backed by credible high level assurances of security from the Pakistan side," the HI statement said.