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Indian boxers in Pakistan for international championship

December 31, 2009 15:08 IST

India's seven-member boxing contingent – the first sports delegation to travel to Pakistan after last year's Mumbai terror attacks – on Thursday brushed aside security concerns after arriving in Karachi for an international boxing championship starting on Friday.

"We have no security concerns, the focus is on boxing and the rest is in the hands of our hosts," Indian coach Shiv Singh said after landing in Karachi.

Sanjay Singh (51kg), Naresh Singh (91kg) and Parnoj Singh (81kg) will compete in the event that will also feature boxers from Cameroon, Mangolia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Chinese Taipei, Myanmar and China.

Pakistan Boxing Federation chief Doda Khan Bhutto said more than 5000 security personnel would be deployed around the tournament venue and hotel where the teams would be staying.

"The government is aware that after a long time we are hosting such a big international sporting event and we want to ensure it is held smoothly and successfully as this would pave the way for more teams to come to Pakistan in other sporting events as well," Sindh sports minister Muhammad Ali Shah said.

Shiv Singh advocated a resumption of sporting ties between India and Pakistan, which has become a virtual pariah internationally especially after the March 3 terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

"Pakistan and India must compete against each other, more so that they can improve and win more laurels at the international level," Singh said.

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