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Pakistan cricket team will not depart for India till security clearance granted, says Nisar

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Saturday that a security team has been constituted and will depart on Monday for India, to ensure that the Pakistani cricket team is provided complete security while participating in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.

“ICC’s security team is in India, but time is short as our cricket team is due to leave on Wednesday. We can delay our team’s departure till we are sure that they will be safe in India,” said Nisar.

He elaborated and said, “I have asked the PCB chairman to wait, and the team can wait until the security clearance is assured.”

Nisar said that it is the responsibility of the Indian government to ensure security of the Pakistani team, as the world cup is an international tournament, and India should ensure that security is provided to all participants.

“Until security clearance has been given, our team will not leave for the world cup.”

A senior officer, director in the FIA, Usman Anwar will lead the investigation team, added the interior minister.

The interior minister, referring to the recent allegations levelled by Mustafa Kamal against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), displayed displeasure over individuals questioning the government’s silence on the issue.

“The government is under no obligation to issue its point of view on every political debate that rages in the country.”

He added that majority of the allegations levelled by Kamal have been mentioned in the past too, and there is nothing new in what Kamal said.

“There was no documentary evidence provided by Mustafa Kamal to support his allegations, they were mere verbal claims,” said Nisar.

The interior minister while referring to the former donor and a close associate of top MQM leaders, Sarfaraz Merchant, stated that a committee has expressed its desire to interview and examine the documentary evidence he is claiming to possess.

“The UK government will be contacted in this regard and this process will start from tomorrow (Sunday).”

He added, “I assure everyone, including the MQM, that as long as I am holding this office, no injustice will be done to anyone.”

“If anyone has some information about the money laundering case, then they should come forward and share it with the government and the committees formed to investigate the issue,” stated Nisar.

The interior minister also expressed his disappointment at the slow pace of progress in the investigation by the British government, and added that he has conveyed his reservations to them.

Shedding more light on the topic, he said, “Scotland Yard has appreciated FIA’s efforts in the investigation of the Imran Farooq murder case, but we cannot comment on the progress of this case since its being pursued in Britain.”

Moving onto a different topic, Nisar clarified to sections of the media present that the government is not clipping the power of state institutions such as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and categorically denied such reports.

“I, in fact, am of the view that we should increase the power and the authority vested into FIA, considering its recent performance.”

Pakistan is slated to kick off their World T20 campaign at Kolkata before they travel to Dharamsala for the high-profile encounter with arch-rivals India.

An Indian group has threatened to dig up the pitch of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala to protest Pakistan’s cricket team participation in the World Twenty20 fixture against India on March 19.


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