In a country where women are sometimes not even allowed to speak up against injustices meted out to them, a girl named Shahida Abbasi defied all odds to became an international karate player.
22 year old Shahida started karate training as a means to teach the boys of her locality a lesson but soon realized it could be a source for her to achieve much more.
Shahida Abbasi pursued her love for the sport and went on to become Pakistan’s first female international karate player
“I have done my BA. Now, my purpose in life is Karate. I am very serious about it and God willing I will take it forward and make my country proud,” Shahida said while talking to ARY News.
Winning silver and bronze medals in the South Asian games held in India Shahida has represented Pakistan internationally
Belonging to the Hazara community of Quetta,-which is a target of continuous persecution and violence and is now limited to a small area- Shahida, however, did not let the circumstances determine her destiny.
“Our (Hazara) community has to face a lot of problems especially in mobility for studies or anything else but that’s life. We will have to move forward if we stop like this there is nothing we will be able to do. We should keep moving forward maybe this way, the terrorists can understand that the fire in their hearts will never die. Maybe one day they will have mercy on us thinking that these are people only want to progress. Our only goal is to keep moving forward; be it in studies or sports. No matter what the circumstances, it doesn’t matter,” added Shahida.
She maintained that despite being a big provice, people in Balochistan people sometimes don’t see a girl’s efforts as praiseworthy, instead object to it.
“Especially in sports, if a girl goes out people say to her, “do you go to a club? For them it is a very big thing,” said Shahida.
About what she intends to do in the future and how Karate Federation helped her, she said that she very happy with the Karate Federation as they have always supported her nationally and internationally.
“They selected us for international tours. In 2016, I got selected for an international tour by the Karate federation and I thought to myself that this time I am going to win a gold medal and that I am the best,” said Shahida.
She, however, thinks “we should be trained more, get more funding so that we can go to more countries.”
Speaking of the upcoming South Asian games in Srilanka, Shahida has great hopes.
“God willing, my hard work won’t go to waste. I am under a lot of hard training. I have played the Premier league, Islamic games and this time God willing I will bring home the gold medal,” Shahida maintained.
She said that she would ask everyone to come forward, especially girls.
“Everyone thinks that in Balochistan girls cannot do anything. I would urge everyone to think high and fulfill their dreams to move forward. There is no difference between a girl and a boy,” said Shahida.