Will not play World T20 with­out ex­plicit se­cu­rity as­sur­ance: Pak

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Pak­istan said on Wed­nes­day that its cricket team would pull out of the World Twenty20 if New Delhi did not give an “ex­plicit as­sur­ance” on the se­cu­rity of its play­ers and fans.

Af­ter days of un­cer­tainty over Dharam­sala be­ing re­tained as the venue for the mar­quee In­dia-Pak­istan group clash on March 19, the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil ( ICC) an­nounced the match had been shifted to Kolkata over se­cu­rity con­sid­er­a­tions.

Though Pak­istan had re­quested for the match to be shifted out of Dharam­sala due to fears of pos­si­ble protests by ex-ser­vice­men and fam­i­lies of army men slain in at­tacks by groups from across the bor­der, it was still not clear if the team would travel to In­dia.

Pak­istani sources said a re­quest from Pak­istan high com- mis­sioner Ab­dul Ba­sit through In­dia’s min­istry of ex­ter­nal affairs for a meet­ing with home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh to dis­cuss se­cu­rity was pend­ing since Sun­day. Home min­istry sources, how­ever, said no such re­quest had come. “Pak­istan is still wait­ing for an ex­plicit as­sur­ance from the In­dian govern­ment on the se­cu­rity of its team and its spectators. With­out that the Pak­istan team is un­likely to par­tic­i­pate in the World Cup. If a meet­ing is not pos­si­ble, even a state­ment from the govern­ment as­sur­ing se­cu­rity to play­ers and fans will suf­fice,” diplo­matic sources told HT.


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