ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said the corporate sponsors should come up to help revive Pakistan’s lost grandeur in sports by extending their resources to cap the talent of youth.

Addressing the prize distribution ceremony at Prime Minister’s Office held for the winners and participants of the recently-held Commonwealth Games 2018, the PM spoke high of the winners for bringing laurels to the country despite meager support by the government.

The ceremony was attended by IPC Minister Riaz Pirzada, Minster for Defence Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Law Mehmood Bashir Virk, Minister for SAFRON Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch and representatives of different Olympic associations and players.

He said all what they had achieved was because of their personal efforts. After a long time, someone had won medals for Pakistan. Besides earning any award, mere participation in such highly competitive games like Commonwealth was no lesser than an honor for Pakistani sportsmen, he added. He said these awards would be the real assets for the players for winning honor by competing with the players from around 53 countries.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts of Riaz Pirzada, who had helped revive sports in Pakistan, though the subject had been devolved to provinces after 18th constitutional amendment. He said provision of further resources by the federal government to improve sports activities was vital. There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan but it needs to be nurtured, he added.  He said it was pleasing to know that a Pakistani industry would supply footballs for the World Cup. He told the gathering that he had advised the industry to extend its resources for improvement of the sports sector. In the past, when Pakistan ruled the world in hockey, the PIA used to sponsor it, he recalled. The PM also urged the ministry to find out the sports in which Pakistan could excel at international level.

Later, the PM also handed over a cheque of Rs5 million to gold medallist wrestler Inam Butt and Rs1 million to bronze medallist Tayyab Raza. He also gave away prizes to other sportsmen, who excelled in the competition.