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Pak fans arrive through Wagah

March 06, 2005 20:17 IST

Nearly 750 cricket lovers from Pakistan on Sunday crossed over to India through the Wagah border to witness the first Test between the archrivals after Pakistan cancelled the Samjhauta Express due to "technical reasons."

The cricket lovers came in groups starting from 1000 IST onwards, Indian Custom and Immigrations sources said.

Earlier, the Samjhauta Express, which was expected to carry fans from Lahore to Attari, had to be cancelled due to some "technical reasons".

Two special trains between Attari and Chandigarh were also cancelled in the wake of cancellation of the Samjhauta Express.

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On entering into the Indian territory, the cricket lovers, who appeared in a jubilant mood, danced to the tune of famous Punjabi drum beats. Even the elderly participated in celebrations in the presence of some local Indians.

The visitors said that more people prefer coming to India by road since "train journey has a lot of hassles as it requires hours to get the custom and immigration clearance after reaching the Indian territory."

The visitors, however, were cleared instantly by the Custom and Immigration Authority after required checks on Sunday.

"We don't have any relative here in India but we were keen to come to India. My family was interested in seeing the country," said Muhhamed Asif, a Pakistani, who has come with his wife and son.

According to the officials at Wagah, nearly 2750 Pakistani cricket lovers have been granted visa for India to witness the Test match. They said about one hundred more fans were expected to crossover by this while the rest would be reaching India on Monday.

Several famous Pakistani film personalities, artists, politicians and bureaucrats were likely to reach India on Monday.

Adequate arrangements have been made here to carry people to Mohali, where the first Test begins on Tuesday.

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