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|Pak Board to provide presidential security|
Sunday, January 18 2004 11:43 Hrs (IST)
"We are aware of the concerns expressed by some of the Indian players. We are determined to provide presidential kind of security to the team once they land in Pakistan," PCB spokesman Sami-ul Hassan said reacting to reports that the Indian players were concerned about security during the tour, taking place after a gap of 15 years.
"We are in regular contact with Jagmohan Dalmiya president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over this delicate issue and other related matters," Hassan told media persons in Islamabad.
Referring to the recent bomb blast in Karachi, Hassan said that "it is unfortunate that it happened at a time when we are in the process of finalising details of the tour with the BCCI. But I am sure everything will be okay and trouble free and Karachi will host matches against India as planned."
He said the PCB has already started making preparations to ensure fullproof security when the Indians tour. "The PCB chairman, Shahryar Khan in his recent meetings with both President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali in Islamabad had been briefed in detail about the security plans," he said.
Hassan said, "Indians should not worry over minor incidents because the Pakistan government regards this tour as very important to further enhance its bilateral ties with India."
"We intend to ensure that the Indians play in Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere. At the same time, all of us are hoping that nothing-untoward interrupt our plans for the most crucial tour in many, many years. After all, it is the prestige of Pakistan that is at stake," he said.
The Indians are scheduled to play three Tests and five One-dayers during their tour starting in March.
Pakistan hosted three Test teams and 13 junior sides in the last six months although South Africa and New Zealand refused to play in Karachi and Peshawar citing security fears.
South Africa were to play two games (a One-day match and a Test) in Karachi and another Test in Peshawar last October but they declined at the last moment.
Pak tour: India to seek security assurances