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Home > Cricket > Report

Home ministry asks for dossier on terrorists;
PM will decide on Pak tour

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 13, 2004 12:43 IST
Last Updated: February 13, 2004 16:46 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani will decide next week if the Indian cricket team will tour Pakistan, a senior minister in the Vajpayee government told on Friday.

"The final decisionwill betaken by the prime ministerand deputy prime ministerafter the three-member BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India)currently visiting Pakistan returnsto India on Saturday," the minister said.

Thehome ministry has askedDelhi police officers for adetailed report onthreeHarkat ul Jehadi-Islami terrorists who were sentenced to 10yearsimprisonmentfor plotting to kidnap Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

Abdul Majid, Mohammad Ashraf and Mohammad Imranconfessedthey had been sent to kidnapthe Indian cricketers by Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar in exchangeforterrorists Nasrullah Langreeyal and Abdul Rahim currently lodgedin Rajasthan's high-security Jodhpur jail.

As reported on Thursday, the Union home ministry is not in favour of the Indian team touringPakistan at this juncture and would like to shift the tour to May,after the general election.

Advani is constantly being updated bysecurity agencies on the threat preception to the Indian players from terror groups in Pakistan.

Also read: Players' security matter of concern

The BCCI team comprisingJoint Secretary ProfessorRatnakar Shetty, Director Media Relations Amrit Mathur and Yashovardhan Azad, Inspector General of Police attached tothehome ministryandnational selector Kirti Azad's brother,has beenvisiting venues in Pakistan.

Home ministry officials saidAustralia and New Zealand tooreviewed their commitments after a series ofblasts in Pakistan beforecommencement of their tours.

The Pakistan Cricket Board may move the International Cricket Council ifthe BCCI calls off the tour or asks for rescheduling it to a later date.

Pakistaniofficials have assured the BCCI team of providing appropriatesecurity cover forthe Indianplayers. They cite the security that surroundedVajpayee's visitto Pakistan last month to reinforce their argument that they are capable of providing adequateprotectionto the Indian stars.

But Indianintelligence officials say there is a vast difference between providing security cover to someone like Prime Minister Vajpayee and the Indian cricket team.

Weeks beforethe prime minister arrivedin Islamabad to attend the SAARC conference,Special Protection Group agentsvisited all the venuesVajpayee was scheduled to visit.

"Virtually everything is turned upside down to ensure that everything is in order before a VVIP walks into a place. The security requirements of the hotelwhere he stays are even more stringent. No unauthorized person is allowed to come anywhere near the VVIP.It would be difficult to provide thecricketers this kind of security cover. Since the Indian team would have a minimum of 16 players besides officialsit would beeven more difficult to protect them. Astray incident could lead to calling off the tour," asenior intelligence official told

Before taking a final decisionthe government is likely to hold talks withBCCI officials andtalk to seniorplayers to ascertain their concerns.

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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: PM to decide Pak Cricket Tour

Respected PM ji I am a great admirer of yours and always respect your decisions. Before taking any decision on Pak cricket tour , please ...

Posted by Sukesh Gera



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