ndian minister Rijju says no to written guarantee for Pak cricket team’s security, asks Pakistan not to doubt India’s commitment to protect all participants
Nisar says govt won’t allow team to play in Kolkata until India gives written assurance that Hindu hardliners posed no threat to cricketers
The Pakistani cricket team’s plans to travel to India and take part in the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s World T20 tournament suffered another blow late Thursday with Indian State Minister for Interior Kiran Rijiju refusing to give a written guarantee for security of the cricket team in India, and a warning by India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup that there was no excuse for Pakistan to not send its team despite tight security arrangements in place for the tournament.
“India is committed to providing security to the Pakistani team. We have made foolproof arrangements. It is our duty to provide that and Pakistan should have no doubt about that,” the minister said while speaking to India Today.
The statement comes soon after Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar ruled out Pakistani cricket team’s departure to India until the Indian government comes up with a public assurance to provide fool-proof security to the team.
Amid the security concerns raised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the Dharamsala venue, the much anticipated clash between the arch-rivals was shifted to Eden Gardens.
Citing security reasons, the ICC relocated the India- Pakistan group stage match to Kolkata.
Asked about Pakistan’s demand of a written assurance about security arrangements from the Indian government, the minister refused to give a guarantee, saying, “I will not comment on what Pakistan has said or talk of specific commitments to any country. I cannot specify my comment to any one country. Pakistan should be satisfied with our level of commitment. Advisories to all police forces have been placed on record.”
“If the Pakistan cricket team deserves special security, they will be provided with that,” Rijiju said. “We have to provide security for everyone. For international events, it is our sovereign duty to provide security to any country, including Pakistan.”
WON’T SEND TEAM WITHOUT PUBLIC GUARANTEE:
Addressing media personnel in Islamabad, Interior Minister NIsar said that if the Indian government does not give a public assurance about the cricket team’s security, Pakistan won’t send its team to India to participate in the ICC World T20.
“Indian extremists are threatening our team, which is not acceptable. Cricket cannot be played under threats,” he said.
“The ICC took immediate notice and changed venue of the match on March 19 between Pakistan and India, so the first issue is now resolved,” Nisar said, adding that Pakistan still needs a public guarantee at the governmental level to provide foolproof security.
He said the government wanted the national team to go to the event without fear so that they could play to their full potential.