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Pakistan Asks India to Ensure Safety of Team After Narendra Modi Stadium Threat

Pakistan has urged India to provide security to its cricket team during the ICC World Cup 2023 following reports of terror threats to the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said on Thursday that it is the responsibility of the Indian government to create a favourable environment for the tournament. During a weekly press briefing in Islamabad, she was responding to questions about visa delays for Pakistani fans and journalists and media reports regarding terror threats.

She said Pakistan is in touch with Indian authorities and hoped the visas would be issued soon. She also warned New Delhi against mixing politics with sports and said Pakistani fans should not be hindered from watching the World Cup.

The Narendra Modi Stadium, which has a capacity of 132,000 spectators, is scheduled to host five matches of the World Cup, including the opening match, the Pakistan-India clash and the final. The Indian authorities have jacked up security preparations and deployed more than 3,000 police personnel in and around the venue. The road leading to the stadium will also remain closed during the matches.

The World Cup 2023 started on Thursday, with England taking on New Zealand at the same stadium. Pakistan will play its first match against the Netherlands on Saturday. Pakistan will be hoping to win its second World Cup title after 1992.

The cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan is among the most intense in the world. Due to political tensions, the two teams have not played a bilateral series since 2013. They only face each other at international venues or ICC events. They last met in September 2023 at the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

 

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