ISLAMABAD - Salim Saifullah is likely to return Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president unopposed as last major hurdle Brig (R) Khalid Khokhar has announced his unconditional backing of Salim Saifullah and termed him his elder brother.

Salim while addressing a press conference here at PSB Media Center on Wednesday along with Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Brig Khalid thanked them for their unconditional support and ensured he would take every step to promote tennis in general and players in particular.

“For the last 16 years only two names of Pakistan tennis are everywhere and they are Aisam and Aqeel. Other players do come but they are not at the same path what Asiam and Aqeel enjoy. I want to work mainly on grassroots level and select players and turn them into one of the best in the business. I am very thankful to Mian Riaz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, Kaleem Imam, Senator Dilawar Abbas and all the others who have shown trust in my abilities and assure them I will not disappoint them as well as Pakistan tennis.”

He said he had accepted this responsibility as challenge and assured that he would left no stone unturned to fulfill his ambitions of taking Pakistan tennis to new heights. He said Pakistan was completely safe for all kinds of sporting activities and world must have to show trust and faith in Pakistan.

“We have set a new precedent by not going into elections and rather selected a team with consensus. I expect other federations to follow the same. We are here not to fight with each other but to make friends and spread message of peace, love and harmony through sports. I had started campaign in March and traveled to all the cities and muster support. I request all to shun differences and work jointly for a cause and that is to promote Pakistan tennis. I am grateful to all those who accepted my offer and made the day possible. Today is the last date of submitting the nomination papers. We have completed our panel which would be announced very soon. We have requested Brig Khalid to accept patron slot along with Senator Dilawar Abbas. I am thankful to Brig Kahlid who has accepted to become the second patron as there is no bar in constitution of appointing patrons.”

He said they have decided to continue with Khalil as treasurer and they would announce secretary later. Khalid Rehmani is most likely to be the next secretary, inside sources have confirmed to The Nation.

While speaking at the occasion Brig Kahlid said: “I had worked with Salim's elder brother Anwar Saifullah, who was very nice and true gentleman. I had decided to contest election but when Salim arrived to meet me, I was left with no other option but to lend unconditional support to him.”

 I congratulate him in advance for becoming PTF president as there is no rival left. It is a good example and should be followed by other federations and especially POA.”

While sharing his views IPC Minister Mian Riaz said: “it was very difficult for me whom to support as both Salim and Khalid are very close to me but thankfully they have resolved the issue amicably. I wish all other federations must also follow the same and amicably conduct election and power transfer process.”