ISLAMABAD - Ring of Pakistan (ROP) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pir Syed Asim Ali Shah Kazmi Saturday announced to postpone the second edition of the professional wrestling due to non-availability of Liaqat Gymnasium.
Talking to the Nation, Pir Asim said last year they conducted first-ever international wrestling event in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the very first of its kind in the history of Pakistan and it was a tremendous success and I had made up my mind to conduct the second edition in much more organised and befitting manner.
“Last year I, along with Imran Hussian Shah, Director, Europe and Zeeshan Bashir, Director Middle East, went to Austria as chief guest in the World Grand Prix. It was indeed huge honour not only for me but also for my country. I had met there with top professional wrestlers, who were much eager coming to Pakistan. I had decided to organise events in Karachi and Islamabad. In case Pakistan Sports Board administration fails to bring Liaqat Gymnasium into perfect shape, then we will be left with no other option, but to drop Islamabad and shift to Lahore.”
He said they had tried to find an alternative place but couldn’t find any due to security issues and less space for spectators as last year too Liaqat Gymnasium was pack to capacity and it was a great experience for not only us but also for the long-suffering fans of wrestling, who were entertained by some of the best wrestlers of the world.
Pir Asim said they held several meetings with PSB administration and they assured first the Liaqat gymnasium would be ready by the time wrestling event is going to take place but at the eleventh hour, they informed us about the highly pathetic situation of the venue.
He also thanked to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, who were highly cooperative and in several meetings with DG ISPR, he always assured army’s all out help in conducting the event in highly safe and secure manner and promised to provide top class security to venue and all the international wrestlers.
CEO, Ring of Pakistan (ROP) Pir Asim further that now we had to revise dates and new dates would be announced next month. “It is indeed an opportunity for us to include more wrestlers, who were not available due to their earlier commitments, but now time is at our side. We will send our delegations to different representatives of the professional wrestlers and we are highly confident that we will be able to get few of the world’s biggest stars by the time we announce the new dates for the events.”
“We are also planning to include our very own Pakistani wrestlers as well in the second edition. For this we need suitable premises to conduct trials and then hire professional trainers, who could impart training to our wrestlers. We have selected few places for this purpose but for me, Pakistan Sports Complex is the ideal location as it has vast area, halls and accommodation facilities and above all highly secure place for international trainers. I appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan and IPC Minister Fahmida Mirza that in the best interest of the sports and youth of Pakistan, they allocate a space for ROP, as luckily Imran is also a super star of world cricket and he knows the problems of the youth and we had pinned great hopes in Imran so we could start the dream project. I can assure that we will transform the locals into the best in the business. We are also working on exchange programme. We have signed MOUs with international wrestling academies in this regard and they had promised to send their trainers and students to Pakistan.” He said Islamabad is one of the safest cities in the world and it will attract top wrestlers, trainers and students, which will help our wrestlers and youth a great deal.
“We will start talent hunt in different cities and after finalising the wrestlers we will bring them to Islamabad for training and also want to start Wrestling Super League (WSL) and every team will be mentored by world renowned super stars, which will attract the local youth and all these programmes will be telecasted live on different channels and it will enhance the image of Pakistan as sports-promoting and loving country,” Pir Asim concluded.