ISLAMABAD    -   Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Senior Vice President Air Vice Marshal Aamir Masood has said that he has very fruitful meetings with PSA CEO Alex Gough and WSF President Jacque Fontaine, where the PSA has quashed security fee for its next two events allocated to Pakistan in Islamabad and Karachi.

Talking to The Nation from Cape Town on Wednesday, Aamir said: “I have clarified to Alex that the PSF is working hard for the promotion of squash and helping the WSF and the PSA in hosting more and more events. Pakistan is completely safe for all kinds of sporting activities. I am a polo player and more than 30 international polo players are participating in polo events in Pakistan.

“Alex has agreed to allow Pakistan to host $20,000 event for males in Islamabad and $13,000 event for ladies in December. The $50,000 Pakistan Open will be held in Karachi in January next year while a ladies tournament will also be held at the same time in Karachi. Squash legend Jahangir Khan will host both the events in Karachi. Alex has also promised to send security team during February next year, which will arrive to access the PSL-5 security,” he added.

The PSF senior vice president hopes that PSA CEO Alex will help the PSF in getting more PSA tournaments next year. “The WSF President was also full of praise for the efforts and contributions of the PSF and he also promised his all-out support to us. I also had great meetings with the presidents of Malaysian Squash Federation as well as Egyptian Squash Federation. We had discussed signing MoUs for future exchange programmes, as it will help our players, officials, referees and coaches a lot.

“We are taking every possible step to ensure our players get back into top PSA rankings. We will provide them every facility, best coaches and PSA tournaments at home and abroad, and it is their duty to respond well. We don’t expect them to win overnight, but at least they must show improvement,” he asserted.

Aamir said he had also met with the representatives of Turkish and Kuwait Squash Associations, who want Pakistan’s help in promoting squash in their regions. “We will send our players, coaches and referees to both the countries. It is true that we don’t have so many coaches and referees, but we have quality and we can contribute towards helping Turkey and Kuwait in preparing top quality players, coaches and referees.

“We also want to enhance the number of coaches and referees and want to ensure our referees get clinics. I will also talk to the director referees in this regard as it is very important for Pakistani officials to keep pace with day-to-day changes in international squash and they must pass on the knowledge to others,” he added.

He said he is paying visits to different cities, meeting with associations and want them to contribute. “The major responsibility of all the associations is to hunt fresh talent and recommend them to the PSF. We want all the players to put in more efforts and work on their physical and mental fitness to excel at higher level. Our players just lack in fitness area, otherwise, they are very skilful and can beat any given opponent.

“With the active help and support of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the PSF is fully alive to the situation and wants our player to produce the same results, which Pakistan used to produce in the era of Qamar Zaman, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan. I urge parents to send their daughters to play squash, as the PSF will take very good care of them and provide them with the best coaching and facilities at Pakistan National Squash Academy in Islamabad or in Peshawar.

“I will soon meet with sports journalists as well to take their valuable suggestions and recommendations for improvement. They present the actual true sports-loving picture to rest of the world. Their suggestions will be given due weight and we will continue to interact with them in future. Pakistan squash need international backing and international tournaments to improve the game,” Aamir concluded.