ISLAMABAD -  Former 8-time world squash champion Jansher Khan expressed his utter satisfaction regarding progress being made by local players in international events and termed it was made possible due to personal attention of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and senior vice president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi.

Talking to The Nation, Janhser said: “With efforts and facilities being provided to the players, I feel there is absolutely no reason, why Pakistani players can’t reach the summit. I find no reason why these highly talented bunch of the players not reaching, where they should have been. I know the federation is providing every facility, international events, top class training, accommodation, taking very good care of their diet and providing them highly conducive environment. After getting such great facilities, if the players can’t bring desired results, then it is their fault and they must show more fighting skills and make their act together.”

Jansher said: “PAF, Army, Navy and other law enforcement agencies have made tremendous sacrifices and ensure peace return to the country. Their efforts and contributions couldn’t be ruled out. The international squash revival was only made possible by their efforts, as without security agencies’ contributions, it would not have been possible for the PSF to even think about conducting ordinary events. With international squash event being held in Pakistan, other sports also got huge boost and teams and individuals started coming and playing in Pakistan. They have termed their satisfaction and feel no security issues at all.

“There is an urgent need to pay heed towards finding fresh talent from Fata and tribal areas, as I can assure that these areas are rich with natural talent. The PSF should focus on not only conducting major international events, but also on holding local level events on consistent basis, as it will ensure youth attraction towards squash and also open floodgates for the talented youth to play alongside top level national and international players. The government and others must lend a helping hand to the PSF, as without their active support, the federation can’t alone execute plans. Pakistani players have ability of raising green flag high world over,” he added.

Six-time British Open champ Jansher said: “I am highly disturbed not to see too many females playing squash. I can assure the federation that we are blessed with natural raw talent in females as well but we need to encourage them and provide them a platform, where they may feel secure and mentally involved to start professional careers in squash.”

Jansher said: “PSF president Sohail Aman is a sports lover and that’s why he has inducted a lot of talented youth in PAF, so that other may take heart and start playing squash. Providing jobs almost ensure youth are free from thinking about how to earn bread and butter for their families.

The squash legend said Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Ababsi was PIA chairman during his playing days and he provided a lot of facilities to him, which was a clear indication that he was a true squash lover. He also congratulated the prime minister and hoped he would extend the best possible support to the federation and players and also ensure PIA help out the federation and allow talented youth free tickets, which would be a great help for the PSF and players. “I can assure this help will go a long way in helping youth and they will win more medals for the country,” Jansher concluded.