ISLAMABAD - Member National Assembly (MNA) Jamshed Dasti demanded removal of non-professional persons from Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to help revive the fast declining fortunes of Pakistan squash.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Saturday after his visit to Asian squash champion Aamir Atlas Khan's residence, Dasti said: “Pakistan enjoyed glorious success in squash and just because of producing many great champions, Pakistanis still enjoy great respect across the world. But now due to incumbent persons, who don’t know anything about squash, but get themselves appointed have destroyed this game and that is the main reason, Pakistan squash has been declining fast.”

“It is quite shameful that a player of Aamir Atlas caliber, who has won laurels for the country at international level and managed to win the prestigious Asian Squash Individual title after a gap of almost 15 years, has not been given due respect as his services were not duly recognized and instead of showering countless incentives on him, the PSF handed over a meager amount of Rs 100,000 which is by no means a respectable way of treating a star performer. How can the federation expect players give satisfactory performances, if they will be rendered such rough and below dignity treatment,” Dasti added.

Dasti said he was also disappointed that neither president Asif Ali Zardar nor Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif bothered to even call Aamir and said a few words of appreciation so awarding incentives for him was a far cry. “This attitude will not help the country in reviving old glory days of squash so the prime minister president must spare some from their busy schedule and not only invite Aamir, but also other aspiring squash players along with their coach Jamshed Gul. This gesture will help a great deal in giving these players a sense of gratitude and they will not let the country down and will try to their best to win laurels for the country.”

“Soon after Eid, I will raise my voice in the National Assembly and will ensure that the PSF senior vice president and secretary should be present before National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports and will seek details about their expenditures and income. If the federation has really been facing financial problems, then we will raise this issue at each and every available platform and will try to help them out, but if the federation is at fault and deliberately denying players from their due rights, then let me assure, they will have to face the music,” Dasti added.  “Until and unless professional persons are not handed over the reins of the federation, it will be almost impossible to achieve even ordinary results while winning the PSA events or world championship is a far cry,” he said.

“Already too much precious time has been wasted on non-professionals but now it is the time when true professionals like Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan and many more past legends must join hands for the betterment of squash and take over the helm of affairs at the federation. This is the only real way to climb back to the top of squash world and I am sure these former champions will not only help in winning back all the lost titles but also help in reviving international squash in the country,” Dasti concluded.