ISLAMABAD - Creating a new slot of Director General (Technical) of Pakistan Sports Board ostensibly to improve the standards of sports, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that sports are an important component and imperative for the projection of the soft image of Pakistan abroad. The Prime Minister (PM) made these remarks while according approval to the appointment of Director General (Technical) of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), a new assignment created to improve the standards and quality of sports in the country. He further said that the promotion of sports activities would help to engage the youth towards healthy activities and also develop tolerance as well as sense of fair competition among them. In accordance with the decisions to bring about professionalism in sports management, Dr Akhtar Nawaz Genjera has been appointed as Director General (Tech) in the PSB. The newly appointed DG (Tech) has been an athlete, a trainer, a researcher and a sports administrator during his career spanning over 28 years. He has the distinction of being the only sports professional in Pakistan to have earned a doctorate in sports administration and management from Victoria University, Australia. The PM, who used to take keen interest in the development and promotion of sports, had directed the ministry of sports to review the entire structure of the Pakistan Sports Board in consultation with all the stakeholders. A series of consultation and dialogue was held under the auspices of ministry of sports with all the office-bearers of the Pakistan Olympic Association and National Sports Federations. Besides, the ministry also studied the sports management systems of Australia, China and other leading sports countries of the world. An important recommendation given by the ministry of sports included the streamlining and reorganising PSB management into two separate wings namely the Administrative Wing and the Technical Wing with clear and specific duties and responsibilities of the each wing. This decision was based on empirical evidence at international level with the designing and training plans/programmes as well as implementation and monitoring of the same would only be handled by technically qualified professionals. It was accordingly proposed to create a new office of the Director General (Technical) in the PSB who would focus on designing training programmes and related aspects. The existing position of DG PSB would continue with responsibility to look after the administrative and financial affairs of the Board and the development of the sports infrastructure in the country. The PM expressed confidence that the new set-up of the PSB would be able to meet the challenges in the field of sports. He hoped that the new DG (Technical) would concentrate on the improvement of sports standards through training, coaching and facilitation by involving modern scientific approaches. The ministry of sports and the PSB, it may be added, had long been pondering over the causes of dismal performance of Pakistani athletes, the declining sports standards and the results in international competitive events.