Ijaz Butt wants ties with India resumed, no leniency for trio

After meeting Pawar, a former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, at his residence here, Butt said India should come and play in Pakistan. "I expressed my desire to Sharad Pawar that India should come and play in Pakistan," said Butt.

Pawar, union Agriculture Minister, said: "I will be happy if Pakistan get to play more international matches."  BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan, who was also in the capital, said he was clueless about the meeting and does not know anything about the PCB's request on resumption of cricket ties.

"I was not in the meeting, so I don't know anything about it," said Srinivasan, who is staying in the same hotel as Butt. Butt assured Pawar that the PCB will not interfere in the investigations of the ICC or the Scotland Yard in the spot-fixing scandal, involving three Pakistani cricketers -- pacers Mohammed Aamer, Mohammad Asif and captain Salman Butt.

All the three cricketers have been suspended provisionally by the ICC. "The players' issue was discussed. Unless the investigation is complete, we will not comment on the matter. As far as I know, the players cannot play unless their suspension is lifted. We are not upset with the ICC. If the players, including Aamer, are found gulity, we won't tolerate any corruption. I am part of the ICC and will stick by its Code of Conduct," Butt said.

Pawar concurred with Butt on zero tolerance to corruption. "The PCB is a part of the ICC. We will take a collective decision on spot-fixing. If someone has done wrong, he will be punished. We will not tolerate any nonsense or any corruption in cricket. We want to preserve the sanctity of the game. I am sure the PCB will not tolerate any form of corruption either," Pawar said.

Pawar also rubbished media reports of Aamer turning an approver or informant to escape punishment. "The Scotland Yard is in the process of investigation. How can we comment unless the investigation is over? The investigation will not last long. The PCB has already said the players will be flown back to London if needed. Investigation is conducted by a major agency like the Scotland Yard. Let them complete their process and then we will take a step," he said.

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