ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan squash team head coach Jamshed Gul Khan termed the incompetent officials - running the helm of Pakistan Squash Federation affairs – the main reason behind squash decline in the country.

Talking to The Nation, Jamshed said: “I had worked really hard with same bunch of players and with sheer passion, hard work and tireless dedication, I enabled them to break into top 40 in the PSA rankings and five players were in top 100, a rear feat achieved after a long gap. But due to dirty politics in the PSF, all the Asian level titles, which I managed to win for the country, have been slipping out of the country’s hands, and no one else but the federation is solely responsible for the debacle.”

“After losing the Asian Junior team title and the Asian Games title, now Asian Senior Individual title has also gone. Leo Au, who won the 18th Asian Senior title, was beaten in straight games by Farhan Mehboob in 2013. Pakistan team showed the worst performance in world team event in Germany where they finished 22nd. I took the team to France in the last team championship where the players played superbly and finished in top 10. I must give credit to Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman who played well beyond their capacity and reached the semifinals, but they lost at the crucial stage. Had they won their matches, it would have been all-Pakistan final. But it is not the players’ fault rather the federations’ incompetence due to which Pakistan has been suffering badly for the last seven months, as after sacking me, no proper training was provided to the players. Had the PSF adopted proper training schedule, results could have been far different,” Jamshed added.

The ex-head coach said: “I once again suggest the PSF must set their personal egos aside and work on long-term planning. Some high-profile events are just round the corner and without proper planning, it’s too tough for Pakistan players to lift the title. All eyes are now on PSF president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman. It is my humble request to the PSF chief not to depend on the federation’s ‘all is well’ reports, rather investigate the ground realities and take stern action against those responsible for Pakistan disgrace and bring in technocrat who can change fortune of Pakistan squash.

“The world junior team championship is just round the corner. Who will represent Pakistan and what will be the results? The participation means nothing but what matters the most is results. I hope the PSF chief will pay heed to suggestions of past and present greats and start work on war footings, otherwise, I fear for Pakistan squash,” Jamshed concluded.

Sharing his views, Aamir Atlas Khan, who was deprived by the PSF of defending the Asian Senior Individual squash title, termed the incompetent PSF officials responsible for letting title slip out of their hands. “Whenever the federation have me a chance to play for the country, I always delivered and helped it in winning the Asian Games title after a gap of 12 years. I also helped the country win Asian Senior Individual Squash title after a gap of 15 years. One should always look at the history. I always produced wonders for the country, but what I gained in return? Only ban, injustice and complete ignorance.”

“I had offered the PSF to represent the country for the Asian Games, they declined and the country failed to go beyond quarterfinals. Then I offered to play in the Asian Senior, but the arrogant PSF secretary and senior vice president put their egos ahead of national interest, and the country was once again deprived of Asian Senior Squash title. The federation should answer a simple question, why genuine medal winners are being kept out and taken under performers,” Aamir questioned.

Sharing his views, Pakistan No 1 squash player Farhan Mehboob congratulated Nasir and Farhan Zaman for playing well, but reminded the federation that current champion of Asia Leo Au was beaten all hands up by him last time and the result was 3-0.

“The PSF secretary is mainly responsible for denying genuine title-contenders proven stuff title shot, his ego and arrogant behavior are the root cause of body blows to Pakistan squash. He treats us as alien while talk too much about non-proven stuff. If I was in Kuwait, I can assure the situation could have been far different. They are under tremendous pressure of me and Aamir Atlas, as we had time and again beaten not only them but many top-ranked players and we can do that again and again if provided with fair chances. Beating me in local matches doesn't mean they had conquered the squash world. I can beat all of them, but the federation’s dual policies, politics and non-squash background are badly hampering the country’s squash. I hope the PSF president will defiantly take action and commonsense will finally prevail,” Farhan concluded.