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|'Government has been assured of teams safety'|
Saturday, February 14 2004 14:17 Hrs (IST)
"We have received confirmation in the last couple of days that the Indian team would be provided sufficient security during its tour," he said.
"The delegation has found that the security situation is satisfactory and the players will be safe in Pakistan. So, if BCCI decides to go ahead with the tour, it is welcome," the minister said.
Home Ministry official in charge of VIP security, Yashovardhan Azad, is part of the three-member BCCI delegation that is currently in Pakistan to assess the security and various other facilities concerning the India-Pakistan series.
Denying that there was any political angle in the whole issue, Chinmayanand said the government was only concerned about the players' security.
However, the Minister added that the Government's decision to go ahead with the tour to Pakistan was taken after accepting the challenge to play in a fearless atmosphere in the neighbouring country.
"There was information that the situation was not conducive to send the players to Pakistan where even their President is unsafe, but Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday decided to go ahead with the tour saying avoiding fear was not a solution," Chinmayanand said.
He added: "Unless we take on the fear at proceed further daringly, the elements who were creating such a fearful atmosphere would continue to do that, the Prime Minister said and accepting the challenge it was decided on Saturday to go to Pakistan and create fearless atmosphere and will play there."
The Minister said the Pakistani tour was also needed since both the nations are playing after 14 years and this will strengthen the relations between both the countries.
Indian cricket team to cross border into Pak