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Imran's dream trip to Kashmir next year

November 05, 2004 20:56 IST

Visiting Kashmir has been a dream for former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan and it will come true next spring when he travels there.

Khan, on a visit to India for Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative Conference, told reporters in New Delhi on Friday that he had been given a visa to travel to the Kashmir valley.

"It has been my dream," he said and appreciated the gesture of External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh for giving him permission to visit Kashmir about which "my mother used to tell stories".

The cricketer-turned-politician said his parents used to travel to the Valley before Partition. He said stories of their sojourns, including boat rides, were etched in his memory.

He said he would undertake the visit early next year.

Asked whether he would favour an Indo-Pak match in Kashmir, Khan said it may not be feasible because of security problems. "However, if the administration says they have no problem, a match can take place," he said.

The former cricket all-rounder said visits by people like him could be better managed in terms of security and could help in improving relations between the two countries.

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