ISLAMABAD  -  Pride bodybuilder and world number 7 Aamir Rahim Bux is running from post to pillar to save his life, after receiving threats from extremists.

Talking to The Nation, 37-year-old Amir said he was going with the family and his daughter was accompanying him when four persons stopped his car at 11:30pm and used abusive language. “They warned me to immediately stop representing the country in bodybuilding events as it is anti-Islamic. They threatened me of dire consequences and warned that this time they are only warning me, if I don’t quit this game, they will not only kill me but also my daughter.

“I was so frightened and rushed to police station near to my residence in Gulshane-Iqbal, Karachi and lodged an FIR. I am very terrified now as I have to participate in the World Bodybuilding event in Las Vegas in November, but I can’t concentrate on my practice. They not only manhandled me, but also showed highly sophisticated weapons to me. After an FIR, I also took protection from honourable court.

“I request the government to provide me and my family protection. I told them that I am also a Muslim and know the values and responsibility, but they were not in a mood to pay any heed and kept on pushing and abusing me. They also said that they will clean the country from all the games, they think anti-Islamic,” he added.

Amir said people must understand that bodybuilding is an art. “We have to show their bodies, that’s why we can’t wear full dresses. These elements also blamed me for posing for photographs with the girls, wearing short clothes. I told them that those girls are all bodybuilders and we met during competitions. I am the only Pakistani, who appeared in senior category and not like others, who only take part in junior category. I was the only Pakistani, who took seventh position in World Universe Championship in 2010 and 2011. I had represented the country in different international events.”

The bodybuilder said he neither can focus nor concentrate on his practice due to life threats. “It is not just about me but also about the pride of the country, if I succeed in winning the mega international event. I have done nothing wrong and I am quite hopeful of winning world championship in November this year. I need protection and I was also given huge backing by sports journalists, who helped me a great deal in finding sponsorship, as I hadn’t money to represent the country at international level.

“I once again request the government, media and all the true Pakistanis to help me and provide me protection. I raise Pakistani flag high across the world. I never have any bad intentions and I am a sportsman and know well about my responsibilities,” Amir concluded.