International Tennis Federation (ITF) chiefs expressed their satisfaction over security arrangement made in Islamabad for the India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie to be held on September 14 and 15.
All India Tennis Association (AITA) had raised concern to the ITF after Pakistan cut off all diplomatic ties with India, expelled its ambassador and suspended bilateral trade, post-New Delhi’s decision to remove “special status” from Jammu and Kashmir. In a mail to the global governing body of tennis, AITA secretary-general Hironmoy Chatterjee asked ITF to conduct another round of security checks after the diplomatic ties were downgraded.
“We are aware that you had done a safety check before the diplomatic ties have been downgraded. ITF may find it appropriate to do another check to its own satisfaction to ensure the safety of all the stakeholders connected with the tie,” Chatterjee was quoted as writing by Reuters.
The secretary-general further informed the ITF that it would only be after its confirmation that the Indian body would start making all the travel arrangements. “AITA is, therefore, waiting for your final certificate confirming the safety of all the stakeholders and the details of the security plan prepared … so that we can start applying for visas (and) make necessary travel arrangements,” read the mail.
Meanwhile, in a statement to Reuters, the ITF said it was satisfied with the security assessment. “Safety and security are the ITF’s highest priority. We are working closely with the host nation and independent expert security advisors – the ITF is satisfied with their current security assessment of the site and the security plan in place,” said ITF. The international tennis body also reassured India that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.
Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju has clarified that the government would not prevent the Indian team from participating in the Davis cup tie as it was not a bilateral series but an international event organized by a world body.