ISLAMABAD: Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq on Monday blamed the spoils system for underachievement of Pakistan in cricket, hockey and squash.
“Pakistan had a lot of talent but there was a need for planned and sincere efforts to revive the country’s status in international circuit,” he said while addressing during colourful inaugural ceremony of Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games 2017 at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad.
The five-day event will last till December 29. 3700 athletes and team officials, technical officials from four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, Islamabad, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will flex their muscles in the games.
The senator said in the past Pakistani teams were unbeatable in sports like squash and hockey. In cricket too we had a high standard but our standard has gone down because merit was trampled, he said adding that Pakistan could once again rise if sports activities were revived in schools and clubs.
He said that such activities played a key role in development of a society. He said that those nations are healthy, both mentally and psychologically, whose playgrounds are full of sports activities.
Raja Zafar-ul-Haq also stressed the need to understand the importance of providing opportunities to the youth to showcase their skills in sports as well.
“Sports play vital role in building the character of the youth and involve them in positive and healthy activities. Unfortunately, the country has been facing security issues for the last few years and our play grounds are empty and our nation is deprived of watching their favorite players in action against the international players in front of them.
“But now with active steps taken by the federal government and with the sacrifices of our armed forces, the overall security situation of the country is much improved. We salute our security forces including police who are protecting us in this tough situation” he added.
He congratulated the ministry of inter provincial coordination and Pakistan Sports Board to stage this mega event. He also praised the efforts of ministry of planning, development & reform.
Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Husain Pirzada also spoke on the occasion. He said this program of high significance is a noble initiative to rally the whole nation. Therefore, all the provinces and administrative units of the federation participated in a big number and sharing slice of joys and cheers, he added.
He further expressed that this event will also paint soft image of the country at national and international level and show a ray of hope to the terrorism hit nation. The event is also providing a unique opportunity of inter-action amongst the youth from all parts of the country.
He hoped that the participants will return to their areas with pleasant memories and Sports organizations instantly will picked up the talent in different disciplines especially young athletes.
The minister affirmed that organization of such an event of high profile and stature not only will contribute to the prestige of the organization but will also prove to be a source of education for the PSB Staff and the civil society.
Renowned singers Sanam Marvi and Malku also performed during the gripping ceremony. The colourful scenes were witnessed as the Liaquat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex was presenting beautiful look and cozy.