ISLAMABAD- Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Syed Kaleem Imam came down hard on some certain individuals, who for their vested interests, want to destabilise the federation and tennis in the country by using unfair means and want an ad-hoc on the body. 

Talking to The Nation on Monday, Kaleem said: “The conspirators will not succeed in achieving their vested interests as records speaks itself that the PTF is the only unit, which is working day and night for the promotion of the game at national and international level. We have conducted more than 15 national tournaments this year and three more national ranking tournaments are in the pipeline.”

He said PTF senior vice president Sultan Maqsood was very kind to arrange a ranking tournament in Karachi early next month which would be sponsored by the PPL, while Telenor and Mobilink would also help them in holding a ranking tournament each during the current year.

“Organising 18 national ranking events in a single year is not a small achievement but it is the part of our dedication to the sport that we are striving so hard for its promotion. No other federation can even think about holding such number of events in a single year so with all these achievements, how Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) can even think about imposing an ad-hoc on such an active federation, which is running the affairs in such a smooth and transparent way despite getting very meager annual grant from the PSB,” he questioned.

“We have not only spent huge amount in holding national events but also sent our top players to appear in the ITF and ATF events on regular basis. It is not the PTF’s duty to hold events rather it’s the responsibility of the federation’s affiliated units to conduct events and we are only supposed to provide them with best facilities. We are fully cooperating with them but majority of the units are not contributing for the past many years and they completely failed to hold even a single event in the entire year which is unethical and unacceptable. But when we try to dictate terms and want to apply rules and regulations, they start blackmailing the federation through unfair means,” he added.

When this scribe asked Kaleem about Pakistan players participation in the international events like Youth Games and Islamic Solidarity Games, he replied: “We have done excellent preparations for both the events, but it is quite unfortunate that the infighting between the Pakistan Olympic Associations (POAs) cost us dearly and deprived the players to appear in the both the events.”

“I have contested the PTF president election with a purpose and I want to promote the game not only at national but also the international level. If anyone has better plans and can take tennis to new heights, I will more than welcome such individuals, but no one will be allowed to impose their designs on us and we will not tolerate any blackmailing,” he said and added: “The conspirators are bound to doom and it makes no sense in their plea that I am not living in Pakistan. I am in close contact with all the stake holders and visit the country every month. It is not the president’s to sit in the office but it is the secretary who runs the affairs of the federation in a better way. Mumtaz Yousaf is very much available to all the concerned persons whenever they require him for any query,” he said.

“Trials for Pakistan U-14 team’s participation in Qatar event will be conducted later this month while trials for Pakistan Davis Cup team selection will be held in November. Pakistan Davis Cup team will proceed to Vietnam for the tie in February next year,” he added.

“We have requested the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to allocate U-14 ITF event to Pakistan which is expected to be held in January 2014 in Islamabad. We are quite hopeful for a favourable response from the international tennis body. The successful conduct of this event will help the country in reviving international sports here,” Kaleem concluded.