ISLAMABAD

Asian senior individual squash champion Aamir Atlas was honoured by President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain who conferred Tamgha-e-Imtiaz upon him acknowledging his great services for the country.

Aamir becomes the third Pakistani after great Jahanghir and Jansher to receive that prestigious award. Talking to The Nation soon after receiving award from KP Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan on president's behalf, Aamir said: “I am grateful to government of Pakistan for honoring me with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, which will further boost my confidence and help me in becoming better player to win more laurels for the country.”

But he also said that he was very dejected with the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) behaviour. “At one end, the government is appreciating me and honoring me with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz but on the other hand, the PSF is treating me very badly. I always played for my country and won a number of titles for it, but PSF senior vice president Air vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab and secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz always treat me like a step child. I just want to ask them why they always ignore me and treat me very harshly?”

“Razi Nawab banned me when I was flying high in the PSA and about to enter top 10, but after that unjust ban, I never reached the same heights. I could have easily won more and more titles and broken into top 5 in the PSA rankings, had the federation didn’t treat me like this,” Aamir lamented.

He said that it was not just ignoring him, but it’s about denting Pakistan hopes in squash. “Pakistan squash has been on consistent decline for the last few years. The things were heading in positive direction when Jamshed Gul was appointed as head coach and we started producing exceptional results, but all of a sudden, without any solid reason, Jamshed was removed from the post and the slot was abolished, which resulted in the worst results. Pakistan lost Asian Junior Team title and now in the name of fake trials, they are set to deprive Pakistan of Asian Senior Individual squash title as well.”

“Instead of exempting me from trials, as I am the reigning champion, the federation kept on insisting me to appear for the trials. I along with Farhan Mehboob, who is No 1 player of the country, deserve exemption from the trials like Jahanghir Khan and Jansher Khan were given in the past. I request new Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, who is also PSF president, to look into this matter of great importance and provide us justice and also remove the officials, who don’t care about country’s respect rather prefer their personal egos to the country’s interests. Providing justice to us will not mean our return to national squad but also brighten Pakistan team’s chances in the important international squash event,” Aamir said.

“I once again request the PSF president to look into this matter and prevent the PSF senior vice president and secretary from solo flight and provide justice to us. If I am deprived of defending title, it will be almost impossible for the current players, whom the federation wants to send to defend the title. I will solely hold the federation responsible in case we fail to defend title as chances of defending title without me and experienced Farhan Mehboob looks highly bleak,” he asserted.

“I want to remind all those critics, who used to say my performances are not satisfactory. I just want to tell them Tamgha-e-Imtiaz is more than enough evidence of my abilities and I am the youngest player to receive this prestigious award in the history of Pakistan sports. It is my appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to take action against injustice being done to me, as there is very little time left before the start of Asian Senior Individual Championship which will be held in May in Kuwait, so they should order to the PSF to ensure our places in the national squad bound for the prestigious event,” Aamir concluded.