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PCB chief gets strong letter from Govt on India visit


Karachi : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has received a strongly worded letter from the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination over his recent visit to India.

Official sources in the PCB told PTI that Shaharyar, a former career diplomat and expert on Indo-Pak relations, was not amused with the language used in the letter by the ministry which also released a detailed statement about it including the contents of the letter yesterday.

The visit by the PCB delegation headed by Shaharyar ended in a major embarrassment for Pakistan cricket when they failed to hold the planned meeting with the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) Chairman Shashank Manohar in Mumbai.

In the letter sent to Shaharyar the ministry has sought an explanation for the visit.

“Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Mian Riaz Pirzada has taken serious notice of the issue of chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan’s planned meeting with BCCI President in India which could not take place and ended in disruption,” a statement from the ministry said.

A PCB source said: “He (the minister) said that he has sought explanation along with details of the incident from PCB and the PCB management has been asked to clarify as to whether or not the foreign office was consulted beforehand,” it said.

“Furthermore, whether, a prior permission from the Prime Minister (Patron in Chief of PCB) was taken or not. The minister said in the backdrop of tensions between the two countries such decisions should only be taken after due deliberation with all stakeholders. Before such high level negotiations, the PCB leadership should have taken into account the hostile Indian environment and possible security threats.

“He (Pirzada) said that the ill treatment of the PCB top officials by BCCI is utterly undesirable and has brought disgrace. It was the responsibility of the BCCI management to preempt a protest or any attempt of disruption,” the source added.

Sources close to Shaharyar said he was not happy by the ministry’s statement and letter and held a late night meeting with his aides yesterday.

“Shaharyar is a former seasoned diplomat and has remained a foreign secretary and high commissioner in India and there is no one more competent in the foreign ministry to read the pulse of Indo-Pak relations,” one source told PTI.

“He has held a meeting with his aides to discuss the letter and there will be a definite reaction today on this issue,” the source said.

Manohar last week sent a letter to Shaharyar expressing regret over the incidents in Mumbai and the failure of the BCCI to hold the planned meeting with the PCB delegation.

Shaharyar has made it clear that he and his aides went to India on the invitation of Manohar to discuss the possibility of revival of Indo-Pak cricket rivalry in UAE in December.

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