18 May 2024 last updated at 10:26 GMT
Visa to Pak cricket fans only after strict scrutiny: Shinde
Saturday 08 December 2012

India will issue visa to over 3,000 Pakistani cricket fans, who are planning to visit India to watch the coming limited over series, only after "strict verification".

"Visa will be issued only after strict verification," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said at the "Agenda-Aaj Tak" programme organised by TV Today Group.

Twelve Pakistani nationals, who came to India to watch the 2007 Indo-Pak cricket series, went missing and are yet to be traced.

Asked whether it was proper for India to allow the Pakistani cricket team to play here as the neighbouring country has not yet allayed several of India's concerns, Shinde said sports, culture and entertainment should be separated from politics.

"Sports, culture and entertainment must go on. Common people must come. That is good," he said.

The series would comprise three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals between December 25, 2012 and January 6, 2013. The ODI matches will be played in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi and the Twenty20 games in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

India will issue 3,000 visas to Pakistani fans and an additional 300 visas to VIPs of that country to witness the cricket series.

Asked why India was hosting Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik next week since he has not yet fulfilled promises made on terror front, Shinde said there were several issues and a country has to maintain certain international relations.

"We cannot stop talking to China because it attacked India in 1962. Similarly, we have to talk to Pakistan," he said.

Malik will be in India from December 14-16 for formally launching the new relaxed India-Pak visa regime.


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