Pakistan’s World T20 participation in a limbo, Sethi meets Nisar

KARACHI:Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met with Indian officials in a last attempt to decide Pakistan Cricket team’s fate, Aaj News reported.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) senior official Najam Sethi is in a meeting with Interior Minister  Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. In a telephonic discussion between PM Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister, PM handed over all the decisions to the Interior Ministry, according to Aaj News.

Before the meeting, Nisar was adamant on written security assurance for Pakistani cricket team despite West Bengal government’s assurance of security to the team.

In response to the condition, India said that being a host country doesn’t allow BCCI to assure a single country’s security concerns. Only ICC can give security clearance to the participating country.

“Pakistan’s team identity is Pakistan’s identity,” said Interior Minister. He called the assurance ‘insufficient’ to allow Pakistani team  leave for India.

West Bengal offered security reassurance

Indian state, West Bengal, offered Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to provide security to the team during World T20 tournament on Friday.

PCB forwarded the notification to the government, according to the report.

“Pakistan team will visit India or not will be Interior Minister’s decision,” PCB chairman Shahryar Khan said.

According to Interior Ministry, they haven’t received any written confirmation from Indian government reassuring the security measures for the team.

Pakistan’s status to participate in World T20 is still unclear.

Last week state chief minister Virbhadra Singh caused a stir by refusing to provide security for the game, prompting the PCB to demand the match be shifted to a new venue.

International Cricket Council, in a last minute hustle, changed the match venue from Dharamshala to Kolkata. Earlier, Pakistan was scheduled to play against their cricket rival, India, in Dharamshala on March 19. The cricket rivalry between the two neighbors attract attention around the world.

From Dharamshala to Kolkata

To inspect the security arrangements in Dharamshala, Pakistan sent its three member security delegation to India. They put forward three conditions to the Indian government pertaining to security concerns.

PCB chairman welcomed the decision of ICC for shifting Pak-India match from Dharamasala to Kolkata but made it clear that Pakistan team will not travel to India till security clearance is granted to it by the Pakistani authorities.

Nisar  on Thursday said that Pakistan Cricket team would not visit India without the guarantee of foolproof security by its government.

“Everyone in Pakistan including the government wants Pakistan team to visit India for the T-20 World Cup, but if the Indian government will not give foolproof security assurance, the team will not visit,” he said while addressing a news conference at the Punjab House.