Thatscricket - News - Distance politics from sport: Pak Minister

Published: Friday, February 13, 2004, 20:32 [IST]
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Distance politics from sport: Pak Minister
Friday, February 13 2004 15:02 Hrs (IST)

Islamabad:As the much-awaited tour of Indian cricket team to Pakistan remains in doubt till the Lok Sabha elections, Islamabad on Friday said sports should be kept away from politics and assured full-proof security for the Indian players.

"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) team has visited various cities and expressed their full satisfaction over arrangements made by Pakistan for the security of Indian players. After this there is no justification to make security an issue," Pakistan Interior Minster Faisal Saleh Hayat told. "Pakistan has always kept politics and sports separate and we expect the same from India," he said.

In order to reinforce the security arrangements and make it full-proof, Hayat said the services of paramilitary units like Frontier Constabulary and Rangers have been acquired and hoped the Indian Government would not disappoint the cricket lovers by cancelling the cricket team's visit.

The minister said during their meeting with the federal Interior Secretary the Indian officials identified some security concerns but were satisfied by the assurances given to them.

Hayat said India's tour was not only aimed at restoring cricket relations but also to promote good bilateral ties. "The visit would also have a positive impact on the process of dialogue between the two countries."

The minister recalled that Pakistan had made "excellent security arrangements" during the tours by South Africa, New Zealand, and Bangladesh, which were acknowledged by the officials and players of the three countries.

The South African team, which first raised concerns over security, visited Pakistan and later expressed full satisfaction over the security arrangements.

PCB awaits BCCI's response, may approach ICC

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