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Rahul Gandhi assures New Zealand on security of players

world Updated: Feb 17, 2010 17:58 IST

On a visit to New Zealand, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said the Indian government will take all possible steps to ensure safety of international players, according to an opposition leader.

The General Secretary of the Congress Party, who is in New Zealand on a fellowship, gave this assurance when he met Labour Party foreign affairs spokesman Chris Carter in Wellington on Tuesday, New Zealand Herald reported on Wednesday, quoting the opposition leader.

His remarks follow warning by PoK-based HuJI commander Ilyas Kashmiri, whose 313 Brigade is an operational arm of al-Qaeda, to the world community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL cricket competition and Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in October.

Carter said he had discussed the security situation with Rahul and "came away feeling confident India was very aware of the implications of the threats and was taking all possible steps to ensure safety," the report said.

Carter said recent terror attacks in India meant such threats had to be taken seriously.

However, he said he was confident Indian authorities had a good handle on the situation and wanted to see New Zealand sports teams continue with scheduled visits.

"My initial thoughts are to go - in fact you have to go - otherwise you give in to the terrorists," he said.

At the same time, he said those travelling to India also needed to be aware of security risks and be sensible with their own travel arrangements.