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|BCCI delegation happy with security measures|
Wednesday, February 11 2004 18:23 Hrs (IST)
"We are satisfied with the (security) measures being planned" by Pakistan, BCCI joint secretary Prof R S Shetty, who is part of the three-member delegation said.
Shetty along with other delegation members Yashovardhan Azad, inspector general of police, Ministry of Home Affairs, and BCCI communications director Amrit Mathur, visited the stadium in Peshawar on Wednesday. He said that the Secretary in the Pakistan Interior Ministry Tasneem Noorani made a very detailed presentation about the security arrangements during their discussions in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Noorani in a separate interview said Pakistan was not aware of any specific threats issued by militant groups to disrupt the Indian tour.
Referring to news reports that Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly faced threats from unidentified militant groups, Noorani said he was not aware of any such information.
"It appears that concerns were due to threats they might have received in the past. There are no known threats from any of the groups. The whole thing is being exaggerated. It appears that someone is out to give ideas to unwanted elements," he said.
The Indian team is tentatively scheduled to begin its six-week tour to Pakistan in March.
"We have made fool proof security arrangements. We have explained that security concerns were normal and nothing extraordinary," said Noorani adding "security was the single point agenda which was discussed at length from all angles."
Shetty said the delegation was happy, as Pakistan had agreed to appoint a co-ordinator who could liaison with the Indian officials to improve the arrangements during the tour.
He also denied rumours that his team planned to return to India before completing its eight-day tour. "We will visit all the six centres and see the arrangements before we go back."
Shetty and his team inspected the stadium at Rawalpindi on Tuesday before flying to Peshawar, the head quarters of Pakistan's North West Frontier province.
Peshawar, which borders Afghanistan, and Karachi are the two venues where India has expressed reservations playing at.
Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore are the other centres to be inspected before the Indian delegation returns home on Feb 16.
Meanwhile, media reports quoting a Government statement said a dedicated security team headed by an SP rank officer would accompany the Indian cricket team on the tour.
In accordance with ICC regulations, spectators would not be allowed to take certain items into the stadia. To meet with any eventuality, police commandos would be provided to the provincial security agencies.
"In addition a security advice of Dos and Don'ts would also be issued to Indian players," the reports said.
Pakistan assures India 'foolproof' security