ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has announced Rs 30 million grant for WBC silver weight champion M Waseem to ensure the boxer embark on his proposed plans for the upcoming World Boxing title bout in March next year.

Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera confirmed this scribe about the special grant, which was sanctioned to the boxer by the PM. “Waseem had met with me and IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada before winning the WBC bout in Korea. He requested for financial assistance of Rs 10 million immediately. On directions of Pervaiz Rasheed, who was Information Minister at that time, and IPC minister Mian Riaz, I send a summary of Rs 30 million to the PM, which was sanctioned by the PM. We tried to contact Waseem but he was not in the country but was busy in training in the USA for defending his WBC title.”

Ganjera said now a two-member committee involving the information minister and IPC minister, was formulated to set ways how to help out Waseem. “We have contacted Waseem, who will meet me in a day or two. We can’t hand over a huge amount to Waseem without proper plan. Waseem will first submit a detailed plan for his accommodation, training, tickets and other things, then he will be granted this amount.” Ganjera said: “Waseem is a bright future of Pakistan boxing and after getting such hefty assistance from government, he will not let himself and the country down and will continue to perform at the highest level and try to win laurels for country in return.”

When asked whether Waseem was satisfied with Rs 30 million grant or more financial assistance would be provided to him, he replied: “Off course, we will help him out if he needs more, but it depends on how he performs in future bouts. I am quite sure, he will train harder and will add another feather to his decorated cap by winning upcoming WBC title against No 1 boxer Roman Gonzalez, who is still undefeated.

“On the directives of the IPC minister, the PSB has allocated a huge amount of funds for different athletes and ready to help out individuals and the federations, whenever they come up with solid plans,” Ganjera concluded.

Sharing his views, Waseem thanked prime minister Nawaz Sharif for timely respond to his SOS call and also thanked IPC Minister, Information Minister, PSB DG and especially sports journalists, who always stood by his side and pleaded his case at the highest level. “Without sports journalists’ help, it will not have been possible for me to take my case to all quarters.”

When asked when he was going to meet PSB DG to submit his plans and when he was planning to depart for USA for training purposes, Waseem replied: “As soon as finances are handed over to him, he will waste not a single day and depart for USA. I am going to fight the biggest bout of my life, so I can’t afford to waste time. I was running from post to pillar and meeting with different sponsors to get the amount so that I could only focus on training. I had also informed my promoter Kim, who is also very happy and we are looking forward to concentrate on the job ahead.”

“I will meet the PSB DG as early as possible. I also informed the IPC minister and others about my plans, which are very simple and quite clear. I need money to train abroad and win medals for the country. I want grant, which must be released on priority basis, rather than wasting time on file work, as time is very short and I can’t afford wasting time on writing down plans. I want to focus on training and my future plans are quite clear. I will fight for every given world title, will not disappoint my nation and will try return with world title around my waist,” Waseem concluded.