Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Afghan refugees denied entry to Peshawar match

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Peshawar:Pakistani authorities have barred Afghan refugees from the Arbab Niaz Stadium in the border town of Peshawar as part of security measures for India's third One-day match against Pakistan, officials said.

"Entry of Afghan refugees will not be allowed in a radius of one kilometer (less than a mile) around the stadium," city mayor Azam Afridi told reporters on Tuesday. The move is part of stringent security arrangements being adopted for the Indian tourists who play in Peshawar on Friday.

Peshawar has a population of 1.2 million registered refugees who fled Afghanistan in the 1980s while an estimated half a million unregistered Afghans are living in private houses in the city.

India dropped Peshawar as a Test venue along with the troubled Southern city of Karachi for security reasons.

Officials promising tough security for the One-day International said traffic would be diverted to prevent any incident. They said interest was high among fans and some 9,000 tickets had already sold at the stadium which can accommodate 14,300 spectators.

Some 9,000 tickets were sold within five hours after going on sale through commercial banks on Monday.

"All the 9,000 tickets given to two branches of our bank were sold out on the very first day" bank official Abid Khan said.

He said the remaining 5,300 tickets for general and VIP enclosures would be available at the stadium.

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