October 12 - There has been a low-key start in India to the international leg of the Queen's Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as it emerged that its progress could face further problems when it is travels to Pakistan next week.
Original plans for the Baton, launched by The Queen at Buckingham Palace in London on Wednesday (October 9), to be paraded around the streets of New Delhi had to be scrapped because the event clashed with the Dussehra festival, a major event in the Hindu calendar.
Instead, having arrived in India last night, it was today taken to Taj Mahal in Agra before returning to New Delhi where it was met at India Gate by some of the country's top athletes.
Tomorrow UNICEF will hold a programme for the Baton before it is taken to the Qutub Minar, the tallest minar in India, originally an ancient Islamic Monument.
It is then due leave for the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday (October 14) where it will spend two days before it is supposed to depart for Lahore in Pakistan, arriving next Wednesday (October 16).
But, because of the dispute there over the autonomy of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), doubts remain over the exact nature of the schedule.
The original plan was for the Baton to travel from the Governor House, official residence of the Governor of Punjab, to Bagh-i-Jinnah, an historic park in the centre of the city modelled on Kew Gardens in London.
Glasgow 2014 is currently dealing with Arif Hasan, head of the POA recognised by the International Olympic Committee, but not the Pakistan Government, who instead back Mohammad Akram Sahi, head of a parallel organisation.
"Glasgow 2014 has had - and continues to have - regular and on-going dialogue with the Pakistan Olympic Association led by Lieutenant General Arif Hasan and recognised by both the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation," a spokesman for Glasgow 2014 told insidethegames.
"During a three-day Queen's Baton Relay programme developed in collaboration with the POA and the British High Commission we look forward to meeting a wide range of people in Pakistan, including athletes."
As well as the controversy in India, Glasgow 2014 have also been forced to drop The Gambia from its schedule after the West African country unexpectedly withdrew from the Commonwealth.
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