Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- India gives Pak nod to open temporary visa office

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2001, 22:17 [IST]
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New Delhi:India has given Islamabad the nod to set up a temporary office to speed up the issue of visas to Indian cricket fans eager to visit Pakistan for the forthcoming series, an official said.

"Today we have conveyed to Pakistan our approval for holding a visa camp in (the Northern city of) Amritsar to facilitate the visit to Pakistan of people from that region," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said.

The only land route open between the two countries is through the Wagah transit point near Amritsar.

Sarna said the temporary visa office would open for four days beginning March 17 for the tour, which is scheduled to start March 13 and end on April 18.

Hundreds of Indian fans are besieging the Pakistani High Commission (embassy) in New Delhi for the travel papers.

Pakistan has already prepared 8,000 visas, saying they will be given to people holding bona fide tickets, but reports say even more Indians have bought tickets for the series.

The tour, the first in Pakistan between the two countries for 15 years, was threatened with cancellation last month when the Indian Home Ministry reportedly expressed concern over the security of its players.

The Governments of both countries have now agreed that four Indian security liaison officers will accompany the team to oversee security.

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