ISLAMABAD      -      Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza has warned all the federations of stopping negativity and keeping their houses in order to produce better results at international level.

Talking to The Nation, IPC Minister Dr Fahmida said: “We were producing champions in squash, hockey, cricket, snooker, kabbadi and other sports, but for the last few years, we have witnessed sharp decline in standard of sports and our teams and individuals are not winning medals at international level. We need to ensure merit in every game as it is the only solution to uplift the declining standard of Pakistan sports.”

She said they badly need to promote soft sports-loving image of the country at international level. “Pakistan Sports Board and IPC Ministry have provided the federations all-out facilities, funds and arranged lengthy camps but in response, we couldn’t get the desired results. The basic reason behind sports decline is parallel federations as they prefer the country’s interests to their own.

“I have given substantial grants to all those federations, who are working as per need of the country, while I will ensure more grants, facilities and training camps to them. I will provide them with international coaches and tours, but in return, I just want them to win laurels for the country. I don’t mind, if our athletes give their 100 percent and fail to win gold medals, but it hurts, when we see such sharp decline, when it comes to winning medals at even regional events,” she added.

Dr Fahmida said: “The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) must come up with clear plans. The POA has to ensure merit and promote only genuine federations and officials as it will help Pakistan sports flourish. During my meeting with the POA President, I asked him to implement all the promises he has made in the meeting. We can’t just wait to see Pakistan sports declining with each passing day.

“I have visited Baku for four days and came back last night. I have signed an MoU with their Sports Ministry and exchange programmes will start in near future. In the past, the MoUs were signed, but nothing was implemented. I will ensure our athletes and country must get benefit from Baku agreement,” she asserted.

The IPC minister said international teams are coming to Pakistan, which is indeed very healthy and heartening sign. “Next month, Indian team will arrive in Pakistan to play Davis Cup tie against the hosts. I think, sports can play very vital role in bridging the gaps and help the countries resolve their major and minor issues through sports diplomacy. I want India to send their cricket as well as other teams and we will send ours as well.”

She said the doors of the PSB are awls open for all the federations and athletes. “We will take very good care of them. A number of camps are already underway in the PSB and the camps will be in full swing once 33rd National Games are concluded.  “I am a sportswoman and have played lot of sports during playing days. I know the importance of training and camps. I know South Asian Games are round the corner. Let me assure all that we will not leave any stone unturned and will look after the athletes, coaches, officials in the best possible manner,” Dr Fahmida concluded.