ISLAMABAD - Pakistan possesses immense amount of talent in almost every sporting field and golf is one of them. Although none of the Pakistanis in the past had managed to excel at international level competitions, yet things have started changing as South African-based Pakistan youngster Ishtiaq Ahmed Karim has created waves in golfing circuit. He had won two major titles at South African level and had won a number of titles at club level.

Talking to The Nation on Monday, Ishtiaq, who is currently in Pakistan, said: “It is my firm belief that Pakistan is blessed with natural talent but the only need of the hour is to buck up that talent and polish them. It is quite unfortunate that people in Pakistan have assumed that this game is very expensive but the reality is quite different as the matter of the fact is that it is much cheaper as compare to other sports.”

“I am settled in Johannesburg for almost 20 years and I have never appeared in any national competitions in Pakistan, but for the last seven years or so, I am playing golf regularly and participating in all the major events in South Africa. By the grace of God, I managed to win two major titles in such a short span of time, while I play club golf at Crown Mines Golf Club, where I managed to win a number of titles,” he added.

“In fact almost every second event, I managed to win at club level. I recently took part in Betterball Golf Championship in February and won the competition. I am regularly visiting Pakistan every six months and I wanted to pass on my experiences to youngsters of the country. I would love to train youth, who could one day win laurels for the country at international level,” Ishtiaq asserted.

He further said: “I am staying in Rawalpindi till July and want to play golf at Rawalpindi and Islamabad Golf Clubs, as both of these clubs are of world-class and have every facility. If provided with an opportunity to play any championship during my stay, I would love to take part and play alongside top professionals of the country.”  When this scribe asked Ishtiaq whether he is willing to coach Pakistani golfers and would like to represent Pakistan at international events, he replied: “I would love to train youth and more than willing to represent Pakistan at any given event. I am settled in South Africa but just a call away whenever my country requires my services; I am ready to respond in positive.”