Islamabad - Pakistan's pride squash player Aamir Atlas Khan has started full-fledged training under the able guidance of his father Atlas Khan at Hashim Khan Squash Complex. 

Talking exclusively to The Nation on Friday, Aamir said: "I am feeling pain free and have no problem while going through tough physical training. My father Atlas Khan, who himself was a national champion, has been working very hard and his extra care and techniques will help me a lot in regaining full fitness."

Aamir said people would not believe that he was going through such hard training and that too with fasting. "I must admit that I am a completely changed person ever since I started training with my father. I am training in two sessions, first in the morning at 6am and then in the evening at 8pm to 11pm and despite going through tough training, I feel fresh."

"I will participate in the Malaysian Open starting from next month and then I will take part in the US$15,000 championship to be held in Islamabad. I have sent a detailed list of events to Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in which I want to participate. I am sure the federation will sponsor me and make sure I will participate in each and every event to improve my PSA ranking which is going down with each passing month just because of lack of participation in the PSA events," he said.

"I was world No 14 and also had honour to beat the then world No 1 squash player Guitar of France in 2010, but now it went down to world number 67, which is very hurting for me. I am only 23 and have enough time to bounce back and enter in world's top 10 and to fulfil this dream, I need to appear in the maximum PSA events," Aamir added.

"It is now up to the PSF to help me in materializing my dream, which will be in great benefit for the country as well, as other players will take heart and will try to follow the same," he said. "I will also participate in the Maccu Open and then my top priority will be to win the World Open to be held in Manchester. I will also like to play in Hong Kong Open, Qatar Classic and other PSA events, as the players who used to play with me, are now enjoying much higher ranking just because of playing in maximum number of PSA events," he added.

Aamir said all his future assignments heavily depended on the PSF's response. "If the PSF declines to sponsor me sighting non-availability of sufficient amount of funds, then I will be left with no other option but to withdraw from major events. In that case my ambitions will suffer and it will be almost impossible for me to enter world top 10," he said.

The PSF must start working on improvement of funds position as it was not a tough task for them to arrange sufficient funds as there were many multinationals and other national institutions, which could help the federation. "The PSF must seek government's help to improve their financial position, as Pakistani players are by no means less than any top player of the world, but lack of international exposure is the main hurdle in their way to grab world's top 10 positions."

"There is no dearth of squash talent in Pakistan and there are the players who can fill the void left by greats Jahangir and Jansher, but for this, the PSF have to invest heavily and arrange maximum foreign tours for talented players to polish their skills and turn them into world's best players," Aamir concluded.–MOHSIN ALI