Quaid Games commences with colorful ceremony

ISLAMABAD – The 2nd Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games started here at Liaqat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex in a colourful ceremony, with Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq declared the games opened on Monday.

Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Pirzada, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Akhtar Ganjera, DDG Facilities Agha Amjedullah, DDG Administration Mansoor Ahmed, DDG Medical Wing, Dr Waqar Ahmed, Director media M Azam Dar, Assistant Director hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussian, Assistant Director Swimming Pool, Chaudhry Saeed Ahmed along with other notables and sports lovers were also present on the grand opening ceremony, which was lit up by sensational performance of famous folk singer Sanam Marvi and Malku. Colourful scenes were witnessed during the performances, as athletes and officials along with PSB employees danced and enjoyed the moment with great zeal while the gymnasium was presenting bridal look, as it was decorated beautifully.

In the five-day event, 3,700 athletes, team officials, technical officials from four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will be flexing their muscles for top honors.

Sharing his views, chief guest Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said that such activities play a key role in the overall development of a society. “Those nations are healthy both mentally and psychologically, whose playgrounds are packed with youth. Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of talent but there is a need for planning and sincere efforts to revive the country’s status in international circuit.

“In the past, we were unbeatable in sports like squash and hockey while in cricket too, we had a high standard but our standard has been going down because merit was trampled,” the Senator said. “Pakistan sports can once again rise, if sports activities are revived in schools and clubs,” he added.

The chief guest also stressed upon the need of understanding the importance of providing opportunities to youth to showcase their skills in sports. “Sports play vital role in building the character of the youth and involve them in positive and healthy activities. Unfortunately, the country has been facing security issues for the last few years and our playgrounds are empty and our nation is deprived of watching their favorite players in action against the international players in front of them.

“But now with active steps taken by the federal government and with the sacrifices of our armed forces, the overall security situation of the country has improved a lot. We salute our security forces including police, who are protecting us in this tough situation,” he added. Zafar-ul-Haq congratulated IPC ministry and PSB for staging this mega event and also praised the efforts of Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform.

Welcoming the chief guest and respectable guests, IPC Minister Riaz Pirzada said that this programme of high significance is a noble initiative to rally the whole nation, therefore, all the provinces and administrative units of the federation participated in a big number and sharing slice of joys and cheers. “This event will also present soft image of the country at national and international level. The event is also providing a unique opportunity of interaction amongst the youth from all parts of the country.”

Pirzada hoped that the participants will return to their areas with pleasant memories and sports organisations will pick up the talent instantly in different disciplines especially young athletes. He said holding of such high-profile events will not only contribute to the prestige of the country but also prove to be a source of education for the PSB staff and civil society.

The minister thanked Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform for timely providing funds for the event and also lauded media for covering the event in such a grand manner and requested them to portray the sports-loving image of the country to international community. He thanked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi for his personal efforts and keen interest in sporting activities and hoped he would grace the closing ceremony as chief guest.

On the opening day, netball events were held as in male category, Balochistan, Punjab and KP registered victories, while in female category, Punjab and Sindh opened up with triumphs. AJK is not taking part in male competition and Fata is not featuring in female competition. The female football match between AJK and Fata could not take place due to some technical reasons while in male football match, Islamabad beat Gilgit-Baltistan 3-1.

In squash events played at Mushaf Squash Complex, in male event, Zeeshan Zeb, Qamar Islam, Zain Rehman, Adil Faqeer and Hamza Imtiaz registered victories while in female category, Tayyaba Abbas, Kubra, Haleema and Bushra emerged as triumphant.

In 6 Red Snooker event pre-quarterfinals, Mubashir Raza beat Fawad Khan 3-1, M Arsalan Qurashi beat Khan Gul 3-0, Raja Munawwar beat Aqib Nawaz 3-0, Saif Ali Khan beat Dedar Karim 3-0, Amir Sohail beat M Aftab 3-1, Imran Ullah beat M Hassan 3-2, Umer Khan beat Fata 3-0 and Umer Memon beat M Mudassir 3-0.

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