ISLAMABAD - One of the leading runners to grab Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president slot Salim Saifullah Khan has urged all the opponents to join hands with him for promotion of tennis in general and players in particular.

Talking to The Nation, Salim said: “It is not Pakistan-India war, but it is about joining hands for a noble cause of helping this beautiful game to flourish with each passing day and Pakistani players to earn rightful place in tennis world.”

“It is my humble request to all those who want to serve Pakistan tennis to come and work alongside me. Neither I have lust of power nor did I decide to contest forthcoming elections for adding a badge on my shoulders. I have decided to enter the contest with a cause and that is to take Pakistan tennis to new heights and I will achieve this task with the active help of my team. I have heard Kaleem Imam had announced elections schedule and date which is November 28.

“There is still time left before I formally announce my panel, but I will offer senior vice president slot to Saeed Hai, as he is a living legend and deserves this post, just because of his tennis knowledge and tireless work for the game. As far as other panel members are concerned, I will announce complete panel at appropriate time,” he added.

Salim stated: “I invite all serious people to come forward, and let me serve this time around. It is only four-year time, and if I fail to deliver, I will quit and anyone better than me can replace me. I will also like Kaleem Imam and others should also work with me. I salute Aisam and Aqeel, who are favourite sons of the soil. They have done wonders for the country and won a lot of titles, but now it is the time to find new blood. We have to find replacements of these living legends sooner rather than later.”

“I have made complete plans regarding my priorities after taking the helm of the affairs. If selected as president, let me assure all, I will do my best to take Pakistan tennis to new levels. I will use all my influences, resources and try to convince International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) to allocate ITF Juniors, Seniors and other Asian level events, including resuming of Davis Cup home ties at our soil. I will try to assure them foolproof security for the guest teams and players,” he said.  To a query, he said: “Yes, I know we have to work on upgrading existing clay courts and I will also work on indoor courts. First of all, my main task will be finding and grooming new talent, providing them with best possible facilities and ensure ITF and ATF allocated maximum events for our players. I will also work on providing male and female players much-needed international exposure.”

It is pertinent to mention here that after Kaleem Imam's decision not to contest for another term, Salim’s chances of winning the elections and that too unopposed look very bright.