Monday, 18 January 2010

Do not hype security concerns: Leander Paes

Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has made an emotional plea to all the Commonwealth nations to put behind their security apprehensions and participate in the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Countries like Australia, New Zealand and England have expressed their concerns and Australia in fact has decided to travel accompanied by Federal Police officials. However it is notable that Australia had played a Cricket tournament last year in India. Also, there is Hockey World Cup planned in March 2010 in India, and there aren't much apprehensions regarding the event's security.

Paes, who was here to play in the Heineken Open, said the organisers would take every possible counter-terrorism step and throw a foolproof security net around the October 3-14 Games and visitors need not harbour any apprehension.

"I'm sure everything that's possible will be done, so please, come forward and experience my country,” Paes told 'Sunday News'.

“I've lived in India my whole life. Being a known person in India is something that can be a concern but India is a fabulous country where there is a lot of peace and harmony. There is terrorism all around the world, it's not just something that we have in India,” said the doubles specialist.

“There will be high security measures taken at the Commonwealth Games because it's like an Olympics or Asian Games. I am sure the security will be fantastic. India is a great country, we have a lot to show for ourselves as far as tourism, business and sport goes,” he added.

Paes, however, was confident that the Games would go smoothly.

“I am 100 per cent certain that it will be safe. Anti-terrorism security is everywhere in the world, it's not just in Mumbai or India because something happened there recently. It happens in Australia, New York, Madrid, London and Paris. This generation around the world lives under constant threat. It's all about how you look at it, security and the way we approach such situations. Once we get our economy doing better I think there will be less terrorism worries around,” Paes said.

“As far as the whole Commonwealth Games go, India has a great opportunity to show the rest of the Commonwealth what a great country we are for tourism,” added the multiple Grand Slam winner.


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