Pakistani team arrives to review security in Dharamsala

A two-member team from Pakistan arrived today to review the security situation in Dharamsala which is scheduled to host the side’s marquee World Twenty20 clash against India — a match that appears to be in trouble owing to protests by Himachal Pradesh’s ex-servicemen.

The team, comprising Federal Investigation Agency Lahore Director Dr Usman Anwar and Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Security Officer Col (R) Azam Khan, arrived via the Wagah border and left for Dharamsala.

Pakistan are scheduled to start their campaign on March 16 against a qualifier before clashing with India on March 19.

However, the much-anticipated match has been thrown into jeopardy after HP Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the game should be shifted out to respect popular sentiment after the Pathankot terror attacks.

Dr Anwar is also part of of the six-member special committee constituted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to probe the Pathankot terror attack.

Third member of the team is Deputy High Commission in India Ubaid Nazamani.

The team willmeet senior Indian security officials and assess the lodging and boarding arrangements for the players. Besides, it willassess whether the security situation is suitable for the visit by the cricket team.

Earlier,Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the security team wouldmeet the Himachal Pradesh chief minister and the state police chief and prepare a report which would be sent to the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“Threats to the Pakistani cricketers are credible and the team’s scheduled departure for India may be delayed until the security officials’ delegation gives its clearance,” Nisar said.

“The trip can be delayed till we are sure that they will be safe. We want to ensure our team is provided complete security in India and this is the responsibility of the Indian government and the International Cricket Council.”

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had said the match should be moved to another venue out of respect for those killed in an assault by militants on the Pathankot air force base.