PHF seeks security clearance for World Cup Hockey

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said that the federation was seeking security clearance from the government ministries as it had concerns over playing in India. "We just want to be sure and assured that our team can concentrate on the tournament without having any security concerns to worry about," Bajwa told reporters.

He said as per procedure the federation had asked the government to give clearances from the interior and foreign ministries. Bajwa said there was also a suggestion to have a special security unit sent with the team to India for the duration of the World Cup.

"If the government sees it fit it can also get a full assessment of the security situation with reference to our team before the tournament," he added. Bajwa said there had been some security issues in India for sometime now and pointed out that last year also some players had pulled out of the World Badminton Championships in India because of security fears.

"We have some questions we want answers to. That is why we have sought security clearance from our government but it does mean we don't want to play in the World Cup infact we are keen to play because it is such a high profile event," he said. Bajwa's comments came few days after federal minister for sports Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani ruled out boycotting the World Cup in a tit for tat reply to the way Pakistani cricketers were snubbed at the IPL players auction.

The Pakistan government, cricket board, media and former players believe there was a conspiracy behind the treatment meted out to Pakistan cricketers and Jakhrani said the Indian government should carry out an investigation into the way the IPL had handled the issue. Jakhrani has also demanded that the IPL admit they insulted the Pakistani cricketers at the auction.

But the minister said there was no chance of boycotting the World Cup since it was a global event of the International Hockey Federation and Pakistan also wanted to improve its sporting ties with India.

Bajwa said the FIH had assured proper security arrangements for all teams in the World Cup but still they were reports that Australia and England planned to bring their own security personal. "So we also want to be sure about the situation in India," the former Olympian said.

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