Pakistani players much concerned about security during Delhi Commonwealth Games

17:13, September 24, 2010      

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Confusions spread among 75 members of Pakistani contingent to participate in the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG) next month in India after the world media and sports boards had shown dissatisfaction over the facilities and security situation at the venue in recent days.

"Our contingent was planned to leave on Sept. 29 for the Commonwealth Games and before that we wanted to have our own security clearance," Arif Hasan, president of Pakistan's Olympic association (POA), told Xinhua on Thursday.

Hasan confirmed that it was true that POA had some reservations and queries about the security arrangements for players at the Games Village in Delhi.

"No doubt we were assured by the CWG organizing committee that our squad will be given foolproof security during the tour but we had decided to ensure it more carefully," Hasan added.

According to Hasan, Pakistan was ready to be part of the mega event but media reports and sports associations' objections over the lazy preparations of the venue and substandard facilities at Games forced us to be more careful.

Pakistan had announced to send its security team led by Ahmed Mukaram, assistant inspector general of Police from Islamabad, to check and ensure the fool proof security planned by Indian authorities.

Pakistani security team will leave the country for India on Sept. 26 and will be bound to report back well ahead of contingent departure scheduled on Sept. 29.

A high official of Islamabad police told Xinhua, demanding anonymity, that the security team will attend the top secret briefing about security measures by International Security Liaison Group, monitoring the security arrangement, in Delhi.

"Basically it's the duty and responsibility of our host to provide proper security but after some issues and concerns we had decided that our security team would accompany the contingent till the games end," said the official.

He further said that Indian security officials had planned to provide them a new security plan for every day activities daily at 11 a.m..

The official looked satisfied from security measures to some extent, as he said, "What security plans they have provided us through documents or discussed on phones seem satisfactory, but we want some more issues and concerns cleared."

Pakistani security personal will meet the Games management and Indian security officials to get a brief on what security cover is being provided to the contingent.

The 19th Commonwealth games are scheduled from November 3-14 in Indian capital New Delhi. Almost 7,000 players of 71 Commonwealth Games Associations from 53 commonwealth countries are to participate in the games but they are frightened and reluctant after some unusual incidents happened in the city.

The security concerns were raised on Sept. 19 when two unidentified young gunmen riding on a motorbike opened fire with automatic gun on a tourist bus outside New Delhi's main mosque and injured two television cameramen from Taiwan province.

According to media reports, an Indian militant group had claimed the responsibility of the attack and had threatened to materialize some more attacks during the games.

One day later, an Australian TV channel claimed that its one correspondent succeeded to take some explosive and detonators hidden in his bag into stadium in the presence of hundreds of security personnel and gadgets, but the Indian government declared the TV footage "bogus".

Indian high officials were busy in maintaining security when another big blow happened when a bridge for pedestrians collapsed on Tuesday followed by a stadium roof partially buckled on Wednesday. Indian officials, rejecting any terrorism activity, said that happened due to technical construction faults.

According to media reports, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and ScotLand have delayed the programs of their teams' departure for Delhi.

All Pakistani athletes and national hockey team players are busy in practice sessions for preparation in Pakistan's eastern city Lahore.

"Although the players are working hard and concentrating on games but they are also worried about what has been happening in India, we are more concerned than any other country because we are to visit our archrival country," Pakistan Olympic Association sources told Xinhua from Lahore.

Source: Xinhua


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