ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said the corporate sponsors should come up to help revive Pakistan’s lost grandeur in sports by extending their resources to cap the talent of youth.
Addressing the prize distribution ceremony for the winners and participants of the recently held Commonwealth Games 2018 at Prime Minister’s Office, he spoke high of the winners for bringing laurels to the country despite meager support by the government.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Minster for Defence Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Law Mehmood Bashir Virk, Minister for SAFRON Lt General (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and representatives of different Olympic associations and players.
He said all what they had achieved was because of their personal efforts. After a long time, someone had won medals for Pakistan. Besides earning any award, mere participation in such highly competitive games like Commonwealth was no lesser than an honor for Pakistani sportsmen, he added. He said these awards would be the real assets for the players for winning honor by competing with the players from around 53 countries.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of Riaz Hussain Pirzada who had helped revive sports in Pakistan, though the subject had been devolved to provinces after 18th constitutional amendment.
He said provision of further resources by the federal government to improve sports activities was vital. There was no dearth of talent in Pakistan but it needed to be nurtured, he added.
He said it was pleasing to know that a Pakistani industry would supply footballs for the world cup. He told the gathering that he had advised the industry to extend its resources for improvement of the sports sector. In the past, when Pakistan ruled the world in hockey, the PIA used to sponsor it, he recalled.
Prime Minister Abbasi also urged the ministry to find out the sports in which Pakistan could excel at international level.
Later, he also handed over a cheque worth Rs5 million to wrestler Inam Butt who had won gold medal and Rs1 million to Tayyab Raza who secured bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games.
He also gave away prizes to other sportsmen who excelled in the competition.
Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada also gave a souvenir and colors of Pakistan to the prime minister, who also had a group photo with the players.
He said consequent to the government’s efforts and tough decisions by the ministry, the sports activities had been revived in the country.
He said Pakistani players had bagged 10 medals in the Commonwealth Games besides achieving distinctions in other international games in the recent past.
He said the daily allowance for the sportsmen had been doubled. Two astro turf were being laid in Islamabad to train the hockey players.