For the 1,000 fans from Pakistan who have been provided visas this time round, the trip hasn’t been quite as memorable as one would expect.
The officials have been quite strict this time and what has made it worse is that they haven’t even been allowed to stay with the locals in Mohali.
We’ve all heard stories of the hospitality cricket fans from Pakistan get when they arrive in India. In fact relations between the two countries is often measured by their cricketing ties.
But fans who have made the trip from across the Wagah Border this time are not too happy at Mohali.
Naved-ul-Haq, a fan from Pakistan, says: “Whatever statements that were made by the governments has led to lot more harassment this time round. When we were crossing the Wagah Border, it kept creeping in our minds as to what would happen once we reach, and we couldn’t sleep thinking about it.”
Another fan, Javed-ul-Haq says: “First and foremost we can’t make phone calls to Pakistan from here. Whichever PCO we have been to, we haven’t been able to put a call across. We couldn’t wish ‘Happy Eid’ to our family members back home, let alone letting them know that we reached India safely.”
The officials, it seems are erring on the side of caution. Eleven fans who had come from Pakistan in March last year are still missing.
Superintendent of Police at Mohali, Indermohan Singh, says: “There are no strict norms being followed, but precautions have to be taken, and they should be taken.”
But flip the coin over and there’s another story to tell. There are some Pakistani fans who have thoroughly enjoyed, like Sardar Syed Nadig, an MP from Pakistan. And his wish: “I am looking forward to meet Harbhajan Singh. He is an exciting off-spin bowler. And everyone wants to meet Sachin Tendulkar.”
Source:The NewsMore on:Champions Trophy, India, Pakistan
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, October 30th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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