Not wanting a sequel to the mystery of missing Pakistanis, the Mohali and Chandigarh Police have come up with a joint strategy. Just over seven years after nine Pakistani visitors went missing from Mohali, police of both the cities have chalked out a registration plan.
As a part of the strategy, the Pakistani visitors coming to the Union Territory will have to register themselves up with the Chandigarh Police, likewise, Pakistani visitors planning to stay in Mohali will be asked to get in touch with the local police in SAS Nagar.
The police will also be relying heavily on intelligence inputs to ensure miscreants do not come to either of the two cities in the guise of cricket buffs.
UT Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh said they are leaving nothing to chance. Though full honour and hospitality will be extended to the visitors from across the border, a vigil too would be maintained to ensure no one goes missing. The police precaution is not without basis.
So far about 5000 visas have been issued to the Pakistanis, a substantial number of them being members of the Pakistan Cricket Board. A large number of cricket buffs in Pakistan are finding themselves deprived of watching the match live and the chance of cheering their team, as the visas are being issued on the basis of the tickets which remain largely elusive. The Pakistani cricket buffs seeking to come to India are also supposed to give the proof of accommodation in India where they will stay for getting the visas.
In 2005, nine Pakistani fans had gone missing in India after a Test match between the two teams. Though two of them were arrested later, the whereabouts of the rest were not known. Security agencies believe that these people could have come here to set up cells to create trouble in India.
In the past, Pakistani fans were accorded a warm welcome by people in India and cricket officials. Indian fans were greeted as warmly when they went to see matches in Lahore.