Urging political parties, particularly the Shiv Sena, not to mix sports with politics, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday said the Union government would provide the “best possible security” to the visiting Pakistan cricket team and visitors from the neighbouring country.

“When cricketers from other countries come to India, not only Pakistan, it is our duty to protect them. We will discuss and provide best possible security…we are going to be very alert,” he told journalists here when asked about Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s threat to disrupt limited-over cricket match series between the two nations that begins in December this year.

Urging all political parties to support the much-awaited sporting event, Mr. Shinde said: “We should not mix sports and culture with politics … there should be different views. This series will pave the way for the revival of better ties between the two countries.” Asserting that spectators and all match venues would have foolproof security arrangements, Mr. Shinde said it was wrong to mix the cricket series with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that were carried out by Pakistan-based terror group and nationals of the neighbouring country.

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