ICC special task force likely to meet Gilani

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Lahore, Jul 31 (UNI) International Cricket Council's (ICC) special task force, formed to help allay security fears surrounding September's Champions Trophy in Pakistan, might even meet Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani next month in a bid to succeed in its mission.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) COO Shafqat Naghmi told 'The News' yesterday that the Board is considering arranging a meeting of the task force with the premier ''if possible'' to show its members that there is complete government commitment for a ''safe and successful'' Champions Trophy.

''The task force will be meeting top-level government officials on its visit to Pakistan, and if possible, we will also arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister,'' Naghmi said.

The dates of the task force's visit to Pakistan are yet to be ascertained but it is expected that this high-powered delegation would come here in the middle of next month.

The eight-member task force was appointed by the ICC after a teleconference earlier this month to oversee the security situation in Pakistan ahead of the Champions Trophy.

It is headed by David Morgan, the ICC president, and includes Sharad Pawar, the ICC vice-president, Haroon Lorgat, ICC's chief executive, IS Bindra, ICC's principal advisor, Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA), representatives from the event's broadcasters and the ICC's security consultants.

Naghmi said Pakistan will play its due role in assuaging those fears.

''We are already doing our homework for the trip (of the special task force),'' said Naghmi. ''Once the dates are confirmed by the ICC, we will start setting up a series of meetings between the task force and top officials from the interior ministry and the security agencies,'' he added.

Members of the task force will be meeting Rehman Malik, the Prime Minister's security advisor and other top-ranking officials.

Their visit could end with a meeting with Gillani.

''We want to send a clear signal to the cricket world that every possible measure is being taken to make the Champions Trophy a grand success,'' Naghmi concluded.

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