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ITF ‘satisfied’ with Islamabad security plan as India advises more checks

reuters
MUMBAI
Tennis chiefs are satisfied with the current safety plan in place for next month’s Davis Cup tie between Pakistan and India in Islamabad even after the latter asked for another round of security assessment.
Pakistan last week expelled India’s ambassador and suspended bilateral trade with its neighbour after New Delhi removed “special status” from its portion of the contested region of Kashmir.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has already named a six-member squad under captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the September 14 to 15 tie but subsequent developments have put a question mark over the contest.
“Safety and security are the ITF’s highest priority,” the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement to Reuters.
“We are working closely with the host nation and independent expert security advisors - the ITF is satisfied with their current security assessment of the site and the security plan in place.
“The overall security risk rating for Pakistan has not changed, however, we will continue to monitor the situation closely with our advisors.”
An Indian tennis team last went to Pakistan in 1964 for a Davis Cup tie, defeating them 4-0, while Pakistan lost 3-2 on their last visit to India in 2006.
Pakistan was forced to host Davis Cup ties at neutral venues for more than a decade as teams refused to travel to the country because of security concerns.
They played their first home tie after a gap of 12 years against Iran in 2017, while Hong Kong was relegated and fined by the ITF after they refused to travel to Pakistan the same year.
India’s cricket team has not toured Pakistan since 2007 and bilateral ties between the countries remained suspended since 2008, although they have met in international competition.

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