ISLAMABAD - Former Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain termed politics root cause behind decline of sports in the country.

In an interview with The Nation on Tuesday, he said: “Merit should be prevailed in all departments while politics, undue favours and selection of undeserving persons should be discouraged as this is the only to earn enough laurels at international level.”

“Pakistan is blessed with tremendous talent and especially far flung areas are rich in raw talent. If they are properly searched and people, who understand sports, get involved in selection process then Pakistan can get number of champions in almost all the sporting fields,” he added.

When asked whether he will use his influence as ex-prime minister to bring international sports back to Pakistan, he replied: “My services are always available for my country. Whenever and wherever any federation feels they need my services, I will definitely use all my contacts and abilities to lure international teams and players to come and play in Pakistan.”

“Security is a global issue so only Pakistan should not be deprived of hosting international events. People of this country deserve better treatment from international countries and should no longer be deprived of watching their favourite players perform in front of them,” Shujaat said.

“In recognition of the services rendered by the people of Pakistan, international community must return in same and must step forward and send their teams and players to showcase their abilities in Pakistan. It is my promise they will get the appreciation of their lives, as people of Pakistan are sports loving nation and give great respect and love to their guests,” he asserted.

To another query regarding up-gradation of Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex, as he remained instrumental in providing maximum amount of funds for the construction of the complex, the ex-PM said: “I will do whatever I can to help the federation, as I had allocated sufficient amount of funds for its construction and I will try my best to help the federation construct indoor tennis courts and also lay down at least two synthetic courts, as there is an urgent need of having two world class courts at the complex to facilitate players and help them come to the terms of international standard playing surface.”