ISLAMABAD – “All the negative things which we heard about Pakistan before arriving here proved baseless as we found the Pakistanis very loving and caring and we don't feel for even a while that we are not in India. The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) and specially the general masses give us so much love and respect and we are taking back very fond and sweat memories back home,” these views were expressed by Jagdish Chandar Malik head coach of indian Boxing team in an exclusive interview with TheNation just before their departure to India.
Jagdish further said: “We were quite satisfied with the arrangements made by the PBF and we have no complain whatsoever as we were provided excellent food and accommodation.”
He said that it was true that the PBF had promised them stay at a five-star hotel, but they understood that the PBF did not get promised funds and they had no problem in their our weeklong stay at Pakistan Sports Board.
“We were given all kinds of facilities. The meal which was provided to us was more than satisfactory. The PBF gave us electric rods as there was acute shortage of natural gas in the PSB, so we use those rods for boiling water.”
“Let me assure all one thing that these minor things do happen when one stages such a big event, which involves so many international players and officials and we must look at positive things rather than discussing negative ones,” Jagdish added.
“Before our arrival in Pakistan, people tried to scare us by telling horrible stories about the security issues in Pakistan, but we found Pakistan as secure as other parts of the world. We have been here for more than a week and we went to different localities in the capital. We don't find any unusual thing or any danger to our lives, so I can confirm with complete confidence and urge all the world sporting bodies that they must at least once visit Pakistan and watch themselves how much love and respect the people and federation gave to visitors.”
He said that they were also worried about the fact that they were from India and would get some rough and tough treatment from the locals.
“But I am very pleased to accept that all our concerns proved baseless and we enjoy our trip very much and we are already looking forward to come again to Pakistan in near future.”
When this correspondent ask Jagdish was he satisfied with the indian boxers performance in the Second Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Championship as only one of their boxers Madan Lal managed to win bronze medal as others failed to win even a single bout, he said: “We were training hard in gyms and its true our boxers fail to excel in the championship according to our plans, but still it is very early. Our main aim is to take part in Olympics qualifying matches as four of our boxers had already qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and there are still two places left for final selection.”
“We are grateful to the PBF and people of Pakistan who supported us throughout the championship and we are returning to our country with heavy hearts, as we will miss that love and respect, which we were accorded for the rest of our lives,” Jagdish concluded.