Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada said on Monday that International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to allow Pakistan to hold Davis Cup tie against Iran at Islamabad was a major breakthrough for the revival of international sports activities in the country.
“It is a good sign for our sports. The year 2017 will begin with holding of this international event. I’m sure this will open doors for all type of sports activities in the country,” he told media after attending a Standing Committee meeting of the National Assembly on IPC here at Pakistan Sports Board head office.
The minister said that the year 2016 was ending on happy note for Pakistan sports as the country had successfully held several Asian and international level tennis and squash events in it. “Our cricket team’s performance has also remained satisfactory in 2016. The way it put Australian team in trouble on their home-ground in the second innings of first Test is highly commendable,” he added.
To a question he said that Pakistan Super League was a great initiative and Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief Shaharyar Khan and PSL’s head Najam Sethi deserved appreciation for their efforts to make it a real success.
He said the letter written by former Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan to the Prime Minister with regard to PSL was a stand of a political party. He said the PSL had been formed by experts after a lot of deliberations and consultations.
To another query about Pakistan’s Junior Hockey team’s expulsion form the recently held Junior Hockey World Cup in India, the minister said that it was unfortunate that a country (India) which claimed itself the biggest democracy of the world was behaving with sports in such a way. “If India will keeping on behaving with its neighbours in that way, then it will not be good for the sports,” he said.
He said he had discussed the issue of team’s expulsion from the mega event with Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) chief Syed Arif Hassan adding that POA had written a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) , requesting it to ask India as why Pakistan players had been denied to feature in the event. “If we are following IOC’s rules and its charter, then it should also look into the matter. It (IOC) should ban a country which violates the rules,” he maintained.
Earlier, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, which met at the PSB head office under the chair of Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan discussed in detail the Youth Exchange Programme and issues related to Pakistan Boy Scouts Guide and Pakistan Girl Guide Association. The officials of the departments concerned gave briefing to the panel.
Besides others the meeting was attended by MNAs Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Begum Tahira Bukhari and Siraj Muhammad Khan.
Director Youth Programme told the Committee that in 2010 a delegation, comprising 93 boys was sent to China. He said boys between the age group 23-29 were selected for the programme. He said efforts were being made to sign agreements with Sri Lanka, Korea, Romania, Portugal and some other countries under Culture Exchange Programme.
Rana Afzal said that the age limit for youth exchange programme should be between 15-22 years and before sending them to some foreign country proper training sessions should be organized for them.
Rana Afzal also took up the issue of Pakistan cricketers’ push-ups. But Pirzada said that Najam Sethi had already explained that their action was aimed at acknowledging their trainers and paying tributes to them.—APP