ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that it is a great honour for PPP, which has been organising the Benazir Bhutto International Tennis Tournament for the fourth year in running and the party will also host more such events in future.

Bilawal expressed these views while talking to The Nation on Thursday at Islamabad Tennis Complex, where he arrived to witness doubles match. he said: “Senator Taj Hadier has been doing great job by ensuring not only smooth conduct of the event but also spending a lot of time and taking pain to make the event a success. Without his extra efforts, we couldn’t even think about organising such a mega event, name after my late mother Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.”

He said: “We firmly believe in promotion of sports as a healthy mind is not possible without involving it in active sports. Sports give lesson of patience, respect and make a person strong. Sports develop a habit of bearing loss and how to control emotions after victory. So we will continue to promote sports in every corner of the country.”

When asked whether he is going to announce special grant for Islamabad Tennis Complex, as they are doing remarkable job by holding international events without charging a single penny, Bilawal said: “Senator Taj Haider is looking after this, if he brings in writing, we will definitely look into this matter and try to accommodate as much as we can.”

Bilawal said it’s a matter of great satisfaction for him and all of Pakistanis that it was Benazir Bhutto tennis event, which paved way to international tennis and sports revival in Pakistan and after that, the country not only hosted the Davis Cup ties, but also conducted other international tennis tournaments. We will ensure that fifth edition of the event will attract more foreign players and we will do whatever we can to provide the best facilities to the visiting players and officials.

“It looks very nice to see so many international players and foreign officials being part of the this prestigious tournament. I am sure that they will bring back pleasant memories from Pakistan. We will share highly positive side about their experiences in Pakistan and it will further help international sports and athletes travel to this part of the world.

“My mother was keen sports lover and she also had participated in different sporting events in her peak days. I will try to do my best to contribute towards promoting sports at every village, town and city of Pakistan. My doors are always open for athletes and they should feel free to come and share their problems with me. Sindh government will extend every possible help to conduct events in any city,” he added.

He thanked the sports journalists for doing wonderful job of promoting the soft image of the country across the globe saying their their contributions are second to none. “I feel sports journalists should also highlight other sports besides cricket, which has overtaken all the other sports in Pakistan. Media can play vital role in urging the youth to pay attention towards other sports like hockey and squash, the games which Pakistan ruled for decades.

“I am sure if sports journalists highlight other hidden sports as well and give proper converge to them, the time is not far when we will be able to produce champions in every game. Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of talent and youth is dominating the population. We must utilise all our abilities to promote sports and PPP will play its more than due role,” Bilawal concluded.