NEW DELHI - Asserting that the World T20 clash between India and Pakistan will be held in Dharamsala on March 19 as scheduled, the Indian cricket board and the central government on Friday sought to allay security concerns over the highly emotive match.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh came out in support of holding the match in Dharamsala, stating that the central government will ask para-military forces to provide security if the state administration is unable to do so. "If I get any request concerning security, we will look into it," Rajnath Singh told reporters in New Delhi on Friday. "If the chief minister asks for security forces, we will provide para-military forces to ensure that the match is held in a smooth manner," he added.

Political leaders in Himachal Pradesh cutting across party lines have expressed reservations on holding the Super 10 Group 2 match in the state. Serving and retired Indian Army personnel have also voiced their opposition as Kangra district -- where Dharamsala is located -- is home to a large number of martyred soldiers.

While Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh earlier this week sent a letter to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, asserting that the state government will not be able to provide security during the game, former chief minister Shanta Kumar of the BJP too in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Pakistan match should not be allowed at Dharamsala as Kangra district is home to hundreds of valiant jawans, martyrs and ex-servicemen.

"As far as the match is concerned, we are firm that we will be hosting the match there (Dharamsala) as per schedule because there are interests of commitment which requires to be fulfilled," senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official Rajiv Shukla told the media here.

"Otherwise, the ICC (International Cricket Council) will take a stern action against the venue. The state government is also willing to cooperate," he said. "We will be providing foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team. All the players will be safe. Now, it is for the Pakistan cricket board to take a decision," Shukla, who is the Indian Premier League chairman, asserted.

"As far as the BCCI is concerned, foolproof security will be provided to Pakistan. They should not worry about the security arrangements. Now the decision has to be taken by the PCB (if they want to come or not). They are accountable to the ICC (world body). The PCB should decide on the matter but we will be providing foolproof security to their players," Shukla asserted here today.

On PCB seeking a written assurance from the Indian government, Shukla said: "how can we talk on behalf of the government?"

"I have spoken to the HP CM and he has assured us of putting all the necessary arrangements in place," he said. On the protests by ex-servicemen in the state, Shukla added: "We sympathise with the protesters and that is why on bilateral matches with Pakistan, we have not taken any decision. But this is a world event. Because of the humongous logistical challenge, it is difficult to change the venue now".