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Pakistan Finance Minister says nation is ready to host AIPS Executive Committee meeting, highlights power of sport in projecting peace

Local Sports Journalists with Provincial Minister Finance Muzzafar in Peshawar, Pakistan: 'Projecting a soft image of Pakistan through sport is the goal.' (Photo: PSWF)
by Muhammad Haroon, PSWF

PESHAWAR, November 13, 2017 – The Minister of Finance of the north-west Pakistani region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muzzafar Said has said, that although cricket reigns as the most popular sport in South Asia other sports are beginning to dominate in the country as well, with international sport opening the door to a peaceful image of the country. The Minister also expressed his confidence that Pakistan would be host to an upcoming Executive Committee meeting of AIPS.

“With [the regrowth of sport] in the backdrop,” the Minister said, “we are determined to promote the maximum number of tournaments and for this purpose, seventy sports stadiums have been established in the province during the recent years.”

Minister Said was speaking at a reception hosted in honour of the Secretary General of AIPS ASIA, Amjad Aziz Malik by the joint editor of Sunday Sports, Muhammad Zakir Shah.

Said expressed the confidence that he would be able to successfully serve for promotion and progress of sports journalism across the Asian continent.

“Projecting a soft image of our country of Pakistan, when it comes to contribution of sports in this respect, is the need of the hour,” Mr. Muzzafar Said detailed.

“There was time,” he added, “when Pakistan used to be the world champion in squash, cricket, snooker and hockey but due to lack of focus at a grassroots development level of sports, that progress has been slowed down.

“Ever since the AIPS Asia Congress took place at Islamabad, the Minister added, “people across the country have become conscious about the services of AIPS and its continental wings towards promotion of sports through journalism.

“The day is not far away when Pakistanis will also avail the opportunity of becoming host to an Executive Committee meeting of AIPS,” Said insisted. Expressing good wishes to Amjad Aziz Malik, who also is the member of the AIPS Executive Committee, the Minister highlighted that Malik’s un-opposed election as Secretary General of AIPS Asia is an honour for Pakistan.

Present amongst many learned figures and fans of sports at the event were was also former provincial minister of Information, Asif Iqbal Daudzai.

“Indeed the Pakistan Sports Writers Federation has been proving a useful and best forum for the sports journalists of the country to flourishing their professional capabilities”. Welcoming the initiatives of the AIPS Asia charter to arrange training programmes for the professional development of the young sports journalists on the continent, Daudzai added that this would indeed derive encouraging impact towards the promotion of sports and sports journalism.

Appreciating the services of Amjad Aziz Malik towards the promotion of sports journalism, Mr. Iqbal Daudzai said: “[Malik’s] contribution in this respect is well acknowledged, since he has earned the unique honour for the country for the first time in its history.

“Making the presence of delegates from 30 countries at the AIPS Asia Congress in itself is a visible sign of it,” he added.

“Peace has been returned to Pakistan; international teams are to visit various cities and definitely the fans of sports in Pakistan will also avail the opportunity to witness events of international levels,” he said. This, he added, will equally offer level playing field to sports writers of Pakistan to flourish their abilities and project the soft image of the country. On this occasion, a traditional Kulah cap of the region was also presented to Amjad Aziz Malik.

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