Dharamsala: Senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar has joined the chorus demanding cancellation of the Twenty20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan, which would be played in Dharamsala on March 19. (Read More in Cricket)
“Himachal Pradesh is the land of brave soldiers and two martyrs of the terror attack in Pathankot were from this area and a memorial is located just a few metres from the cricket stadium where the match is to be played,” former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and BJP MP Kumar said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the Indo-Pak cricket match should be cancelled as a mark of respect to the martyrs and soldiers from the state.
Keeping in view the recent terror attacks in Pathankot and Gurdaspur, if peace talks with Pakistan could be deferred, why the cricket match cannot be cancelled, he asked.
The senior BJP leader claimed the voices of dissent against the match are growing louder and the ex-servicemen would not tolerate the visit of the Pakistani team to this area. Even the state government is opposing the match in Dharamsala, he said.
“In view of this, it could also be a security threat for Pakistani players and their fans,” the BJP leader said.
Earlier, chief minister Virbhadra Singh also voiced his concern against the Indo-Pak cricket match at Dharamsala.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said that it is the joint responsibility of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian government to ensure best security for the Pakistan team.
Khan told the media that the PCB was closely monitoring all developments surrounding the World T20 and Pakistan’s participation in it.
Asked about security concerns for the Pakistan team in India, Khan said: “Our government has given us clearance to send the team to India on condition they are not security concerns for our players.”