Pakistan on Thursday ruled out the national cricket team’s departure to India to participate in the World T20 until New Delhi issues a public assurance on providing fool-proof security to the players.
Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks came ahead of the team’s expected departure for India on Friday.
Khan told a news conference that “Pakistan-specific threats” had been issued in India and, therefore, Indian authorities should come forward and give a public assurance regarding fool-proof security for the Pakistani team.
Indian Govt should guarantee foolproof security to the team,if not assured then team would not go-Ch. Nisar,Interior Minister(Pak) #WT20— ANI (@ANI_news) March 10, 2016
In case the Indian government does not make this announcement, “there is no way the Pakistani team would be allowed to leave for India despite the fact that the Pakistan government and its people want the team to take part in the World T20”, he said.
Khan said there were two issues, he said. Playing in Dharamshala was a complete security risk and this issue was resolved by the ICC relocating the match to Kolkata.
“The second issue relates to the Pakistan-specific threats issued in India,” he pointed out, linking the Pakistan’s team departure with the assurance.
“We still are in need of a guarantee at the governmental level to provide foolproof security and if it is not provided, the team will not be sent to feature in the event,” he said. “We want the national team to go to the event without fear and pressure such that they are able to play well.”
The Pakistan team was expected to travel to India via Dubai on Friday morning. In a related development, PCB chairman Shahryar Khan met the team at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and asked them to focus on the Word T20.
Analyst Imtiaz Alam said he was hopeful the team would go to India. He accused the Indian media of trying to twist statements by both Indian and Pakistani politicians “only to create a news story.” He said chief minister Mamta Banerjee had given the right assurances and Pakistan should have taken it up. “Chaudhry Nisar is asking for a blanket assurance which even Pakistan does not give,” said Alam.