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T20 event row: India assures security, says ‘no cause of concern’


New Delhi : The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday termed the meeting between Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi as ‘positive’ and assured appropriate security to all the teams participating in the ICC World T20 event.

“The High Commissioner of Pakistan met the Home Secretary today in connection with the forthcoming ICC World T20 event in India. The discussions were positive. The Home Secretary conveyed to the High Commissioner of Pakistan that all necessary arrangements are being made for all participating countries as appropriate, including the security of all the participants concerned,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media here.

“The Home Secretary reiterated that as in the past all participants will be looked after. There is no cause of concern,” he added.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, earlier met Mehrishi at the North Block here and said that Islamabad would take a final call based on his recommendations.

Basit told the media after the meeting that he has got assurance from the Home Secretary for the security of Pakistan cricket team and their fans.

Basit said that he would be submitting his recommendations to Islamabad, adding that it was now for the Pakistan Government to decide.

“The Home Secretary has provided me with an assurance…I would not divulge anything. I will submit my recommendations to Islamabad. It is for the Pakistan Government to decide,” he told the media here.

Earlier today, Kolkata’s Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar wrote a letter to Cricket Association of Bengal assuring security for the Pakistan team while in Kolkata.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur earlier criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the delay in sending the national cricket squad for the World T20, saying the decision to play in multinational tournament is taken by the ICC.

PCB chief Shaharyar Khan said that the board had got the assurance of foolproof security to their team from the Indian Government and the BCCI, adding that they were now waiting for Interior Minister’s decision on the matter.

On Wednesday, the International Cricket Council decided to shift the venue for the World T20 clash between India and Pakistan on March 19 from Dharamsala to Kolkata’s Eden Park due to security concerns.

The decision was taken after the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister expressed his aversion to the match in his state after the ex-servicemen and families of slain army officials opposed to stage an event involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent Pathankot terror attacks. (ANI)

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