Pakistan to sign MoUs with leading sports nations


ISLAMABAD: Cognizant of the fact that Pakistan has to bring standard of games at par with the leading sports nations, the government is considering signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with different countries to prepare strong outfits in different disciplines. 

This was revealed by Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada in an exclusive chat with APP.

“Initially; we are planning to sign MoUs with Zimbabwe, China and Iran and later on, we’ll opt for some other countries,” he said while divulging the details. These MoUs would be aimed at providing training to athletes on modern lines.

The Minister said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was taking keen interest to promote sports activities in the country and had directed to raise the standard of different sports. The government is forthcoming and ready to extend helping hand to promote a healthy sports culture, he added.

That is evident from the fact that Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has been tasked to hold second edition of Quaid-e-Azam Games in April, he said. Similarly, the Finance Ministry has approved Rs 10 million grant to refurnish Liauqat Gymnasium’s roof and its maintenance.

“The PC-I for that is being prepared,” he added. He said astro-truf at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium as well as the outer ground of Jinnah Stadium was out-of-date and needful for that would soon be done. “Coaching centre in Karachi has been reconstructed which was in worst condition earlier,” he added.

He said a Sports University would also be established in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC). “The University will help bring quality sports athletes in the country,” he added. Following successful holding of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final and Davis Cup matches in Pakistan, he said time is right to hold more international events in the country.

He said Minister for Sports and Recreation Zimbabwe Makhosini Hlongwane, who witnessed the PSL final in Lahore, had lauded the security arrangements made for the event. “Pakistan is a safe country,” Pirzada quoted Makhosini as saying.

Paying tribute to legendary athletes of country, the Minister said that a fund has been established to provide them financial assistance. Pirzada also stressed for promoting traditional sports, liked in rural areas at national level so that skilled athletes can bring fame and laurels for country.