ISLAMABAD - The Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Wednesday expressed concern over security of Pakistan cricket team during its likely visit to India for T20 World Cup.

In a statement, he said that Pakistan cricket team would get permission to visit India only after a guarantee was given for its foolproof security.

He said that guarantee for foolproof security was not only the responsibility of the Indian government but that of the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well.

The minister said after consultation with the Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shehryar Khan on the proposed visit, a report would be submitted to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

PCB chairman has said that it would be difficult for the green shirts to play against India in their World Twenty20 match in a troubling atmosphere. Shaharyar said that the cricket board has informed the ICC about its reservations for the high-voltage Pak-India World T20 match on March 19, 2016 at Dharamshala.

Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh voiced out his opposition of the high-voltage World Twenty20 clash between Pakistan and India and asked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel the match or shift the game to a different venue.

The PCB chief said that ICC should ensure proper security for the match. “I have informed the BCCI President Shashank Manohar about the reservations on the match in the telephonic conversation on Tuesday,” he said. He added that the Himachal Pradesh government’s refusal for providing security to the Pakistani team cannot be undermined.

Former ICC chief Ehsan Mani has also advised the PCB not to play their match against India in Dharamsala.

Mani said the PCB needs to seriously consider state authorities’ threats to not allow Pakistan to play at Dharamsala. “I would advise the PCB to take these threats seriously. Because it involves the security of our players, officials, people and media who will go to India for the event,” Mani said.

“If this match had involved the Australian team I am sure by now they would have pulled out of the match,” Mani noted. “They made their position on security for their players clear when they pulled out of the ICC Youth World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year,” he said.

Mani said the PCB also needed to be very vocal and clear about not playing at Dharamsala since it was an ICC event. Sources in the PCB said that alternate venues such as Mohali and Kolkata had been discussed by Manohar and Shaharyar Khan on Tuesday but nothing was final as yet.

Mani said that Pakistan had bent backwards to have normal cricketing relations with India but the environment was still the same in India. “The Pakistan government has also shown it believes in having cricketing relations with India but I would think playing in Dharamsala in this environment would be risky for the Pakistan team,” he added.

The root cause of the trouble stems from the fact that Anurag Thakur, the secretary for the BCCI, is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from this state and stands to gain all the political brownie points for staging the marquee clash in Dharamsala.

Since the Central government is ruled by the BJP, Thakur may get the support and security from the Union Home Ministry to host the match, but without the state government’s support, it would be impossible for the match to be staged there.

Thakur has made a dramatic statement offering to step down from Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) post to save this match. “If I am the roadblock, I am willing to step down from HPCA post even today. It is a world event, not a bi-lateral series. I will go to any extent to request anyone with folded hands in the interest of Himachal Pradesh,” said Thakur during an event.

The Himachal Pradesh Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M) has openly come out in support of the India-Pakistan match to be held at Dharamsala “The relations with the neighbouring country should not be worsened by such behaviour of the state leaders. We are not in a state of war with Pakistan,” said CPI (M) leader Tikender Panwar.