Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit, who arrived here on Friday, expressed disappointment that his colleagues couldn’t visit the city to watch Saturday’s high-voltage India-Pakistan World Twenty20 clash.

“I am very glad to be here but obviously somewhat sad that my colleagues, who wanted to come to Kolkata, couldn’t come,” Basit said at the NSC Bose International Airport.

“But in any case, we are looking forward to an exciting match,” he said.

The high-octane match has been mired in controversy.

India on Tuesday did not allow five Pakistani diplomats to watch the match, because they were seen as having links with “Inter-Services Intelligence organisations”. Further, Pakistan capatain Shahid Afridi’s comments on “getting more love in India” added another dimension to the debate.

Asked on the security concerns and the Afridi matter, Basit said: “So far, there are no issues. Let’s hope everything goes alright and we are looking forward to a great match tomorrow.

“That (Afridi comment) is behind us. This match is all about creating goodwill and let’s hope that the two countries will be able to build on this.”


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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