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The right choice

world Updated: Mar 04, 2009 00:45 IST
Aloke Tikku

India's coercive diplomacy seems to have achieved more than just getting Pakistan to admit to the role of its nationals and territory in the launching of the Mumbai attacks. In hindsight, it has ensured the safety of India's cricketers.

New Delhi had refused permission for India's cricketers to tour Pakistan in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks as one of the steps taken by the foreign ministry to isolate Islamabad, which, till then, had been in denial mode.

The government had then cited 'recent developments as well as the overall circumstances prevailing at present' for the cancellation. "Playing cricket with Pakistan at a time when we were projecting Pakistan as the source of terrorism in the region, and Mumbai, would have negated the international campaign that has forced Islamabad to confess to the involvement of its citizens," said an Indian security official.

In case India had gone ahead, a home ministry official who has been associated with working out security plans for the team in the past, said security would certainly have been better but wondered if any level of security was foolproof. "Unlike Indians, the Sri Lankans did not know of the potential targets of terrorists.”

In fact, he added, Indian teams of the past have had close to the same kind of security that the President has. "But remember, their president has had assassination attempts.”