Peshawar to host 33rd National Games in Oct this year, says Senior Minister Mohammad Atif Khan

PESHAWAR:After a prolonged deferment of almost seven years, the 33rd edition of the Pakistan National Games is finally announced to be in Peshawar this year in October.

The long awaited and enthusiastically received announcement was made Wednesday by the Senior Minister for Sports, Culture, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mohammad Atif Khan while talking to media here at the inaugural ceremony of the newly introduced Ramadan Floodlight Games which got under way here at Qayyum Sports Complex on Wednesday.

He said the Games have been assigned to Khyber Pukhtonkhwa, adding, “The govt is very much keen to hold in event in an appropriate and befitting manner.” Flanked by Syed Aqil Shah, who is also President KP Olympic Association and Vice President of POA, Mohammad Atif Khan said that holding of National Games would at one hand would provide ample opportunities to the players of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to see top players in action and play against them besides it would help us in partying a softer image of the province.

Answering a question, he said, allocation of 1.5 billion grant mean, the govt is very keen to address all deprivation of the youth of merger tribal districts who at one hands suffered badly due to insurgency and militancy and on the other hands lack proper sports facilities in their respective areas.

“We have taken a step forward with a firm commitment to bring these talented youth at par with other areas of the country by providing them international standard facilities in all seven districts and six sub-district,” Atif Khan said. He said in addition to new Games – Ramadan Floodlight Games in seven regions with grant opening ceremony is to involve our youth in healthy sports activities.

Holding of these Games this year is absolutely imperative to enable the Federations to be able to select their teams for 13th South Asian Games to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in December, 2019, Aqil Shah when asked to comment added.

He said President POA Lt. Gen (Retd) Arif Hassan is coming to Peshawar to meet with Senior Minister Atif Khan, Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan and Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mahmood and would appraise them about 33rd National Games.

He recalled that Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan had already expressed his willingness during his meeting and certainly the allocation of the 33rd National Games would eulogizes Senior Minister Sport, Culture, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mohammad Atif Khan as well.

KP Olympic Association, having vast experienced of holding such Games in 1958, 1974, 1920, 1990, 1998 and 2010 is fully ready to host these Games, a jubilant Aqil Shah added. When contacted former Director General Sports KP Junaid Khan, he also confirmed that the Directorate of Sports KP has accordingly processed a summary for approval to the Chief Minister KP seeking approval and release of funds to the tune of Rs. 150 million from the lump-sum (Total) budgetary provisions with Finance Department.

It was further reiterated that in order to kick start these Games as per the stipulated timelines, the Provincial Government needs to ensure timely availability of these funds so that requisite procurement of sports goods, vendor services is transparently ensured in compliance with KP Procurement Rules 2014.

Moreover, appropriate operation and maintenance funds will be released for rehabilitation and up-gradation of various sports facilities including the Tartan Track for Athletic event at Qayyum Sports so that they are fully equipped to host National Games this year.

Earlier, Atif Khan formally inaugurated the Ramadan Floodlight Games, carrying 17 different games for 3000 male and female players. Director General Sports Asfandiyar Khan, MD TCKP Junaid Khan, Vice President Pakistan Olympic Association Syed Aqil Shah, Director Operation Syed Saqlain Shah, representatives from various associations were also present.

In the Athletic Meet in Qayyum Stadium, 100m Wajid won gold medal, followed by Afnan and Abdul Arif. Waqas, Bilal, Qadir, Murad and Zeeshan were the other position holders. The athletic meeting also included event like 4X100 relay, 4X200 relay, 4X400 relay, Mix Relay (100m first runner, 200m second runner, 300m third runner, 400m fourth runner besides 4X800 relay.

In the opening match of the Kabaddi event Mardan stunned Peshawar by 30-25. Nowshera Charsadda will clash against Nowshera and the winner will play against Mardan in the final.