The prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, has set up a committee of ministers to help determine whether Pakistan will travel to India for the ODI World Cup in October-November 2023. The group will be headed by foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The committee’s main task will be to make recommendations about Pakistan’s travel plans to India. Based on that, the Pakistan prime minister will sign off on the country’s participation.
This is a response to PCB’s letter from last week to the government seeking advice on whether the team is allowed to travel to India, and, if so, if there are any reservations about any of the five venues. That letter had also asked the government if it wanted to send a security delegation to India.
Among the main points that the committee will decide upon is whether Pakistan will travel to Ahmedabad for their third league-stage game against India on October 15. Apart from that, the committee will also make recommendations over Pakistan’s tour of the other four Indian cities they are scheduled to play in.
As it stands, Pakistan play Netherlands and Sri Lanka in Hyderabad, India in Ahmedabad, Australia and New Zealand in Bengaluru, Bangladesh and England in Kolkata, and Afghanistan and South Africa in Chennai.
Apart from foreign minister Zardari, interior minister Rana Sanaullah and law and justice minister Azam Nazeer Tarar are some high-profile names on the committee. It will also consist of Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari, Maryam Aurangzeb, Asad Mehmood, Aminul Haque, Qamar Zaman Kaira, and Tariq Fatemi, the special assistant on foreign affairs to the PM.
The committee, which also includes heads of the intelligence agencies and the foreign secretary, has representation from across different political parties. That is a likely buffer against a change in government – the incumbent government has another 34 days left of its electoral term and cross-party representation on the committee is meant to ensure that decision-making is not affected by a change.