Two-member security assessment team granted Indian visa ahead of World T20
The Indian high commission on Sunday issued visas to a two-member Pakistani security team which will assess the security situation in the neighbouring country ahead of the Pakistan cricket team's visit there for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 event.
"All arrangements are complete for the security team to leave for India on Monday," said a statement by the Pakistan interior ministry.
"The security team comprises three members - Director FIA Usman Anwar and Col. Azam from the Ministry of Interior will leave from Pakistan while the third member will join them from the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi."
"The team will meet the Chief Minister Himachal Pradesh and the state police chief and will prepare a report which will be sent to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar," the statement added. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said a day ago that a security team had been constituted and will depart on Monday for India, to ensure that the Pakistani cricket team is provided complete security while participating in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
He elaborated and said, "I have asked the PCB chairman to wait, and the team can wait until the security clearance is assured."
Nisar said that it is the responsibility of the Indian government to ensure security of the Pakistani team, as the world cup is an international tournament, and India should ensure that security is provided to all participants. The team will hold meetings with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and will also meet senior Indian security officials to ensure security for the Pakistan team. The government of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh refused to provide security for the upcoming World T20 tie, citing a January attack on an Indian army base.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said last Sunday that the match should be moved to another venue out of respect for the "martyrs" killed in the assault by militants on an Indian air force base in neighbouring Punjab. He has threatened not to provide security for Pakistan's players at the Himachal Pradesh cricket ground in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala where the clash is due to take place.
The Pakistan cricket team are scheduled to kick off their World T20 campaign on March 16 at Kolkata before they travel to Dharamsala for the high-profile encounter with arch-rivals India.