ISLAMABAD-Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzaib has felicitated all the newly-elected office-bearers of AIPS Asia and also assured her all-out support to them.

The information minister earlier welcomed all the sports journalists in the 20th Annual AIPS ASIA Congress held in Islamabad on Friday. Addressing on the occasion, Marriyum said: “I am highly delighted to witness AIPS ASIA top management arrived in Pakistan. It is a historic occasion, as Pakistan is hosting such a high-profile event for the very first time. Pakistanis are sports loving nation and our sportsmen have won laurels for the country in different disciplines of sports and even reined the world in squash, hockey, cricket, tennis, athletics, badminton, snooker, chess and a number of other sports.”

She said it is a great honour and unique feeling for all those sports journalists, who have received the ‘Life Time Achievement Awards’ in their lives. “International sports are returning to Pakistan. We are a brave nation and have been fighting against terrorism and terrorists for the last 35 years. But now we are capable enough to host all kinds of sporting events in befitting manner.”

Congratulating the Pakistan Sports Writers Federation (PSWF) for being host to this mega event of sports journalists of the Asia, the minister said the government has been providing safe and secure environment for holding of international sports events in the country. “I feel extremely privileged and pleased in extending the cooperation of Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage to the Pakistan Sports Writers Federation for organising this congress being attended by a galaxy of sports writers from across Asia. 

“Unfortunately due to the burgeoning terrorism in the country during the last decades, the international teams have been hesitating to visit the country. But holding of the AIPS ASIA Congress 2017 immediately after the visit of the World XI indicates and reinforces Pakistan’s image as a peaceful and sports loving country,” she added.

Marriyum said: “The sports journalists of any country are a special breed of journalists, who play a significant role in projecting soft image of their respective countries besides acting as their ambassadors at large. The sports writers through their writings not only spotlight the talent in different domains of sports but also help in developing close sports links with other countries; a contribution which is highly valued and respected.

The minister said: “Nawaz Sharif is a sports lover and love to play cricket, hockey and tennis. We strongly believe that in revival of international sports in Pakistan, all the sports journalists are soldiers of the country, who are fighting on the front for a noble cause. Sports are future of Pakistan.

“PM Shahid Khakan Abbasi is carrying forward the vision of Nawaz Sharif. We not only enhance the budget of national sports but also allocate huge funds for participation in international sports events. If we want to defeat terrorism menace, we have to carry forward and revive traditional sports and involve our youth in healthy sports activities,” she added.

Marriyum hoped the guests would go back to their countries with happy memories and the impression of a peaceful Pakistan would be ingrained on their minds. The congress will prove a great success as far as its objectives are concerned and a milestone in the efforts to full-fledged revival of international sports in Pakistan.”

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a group photo with the participants of 20th AIPS Asia Congress.–APP