ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Friday said the government was making strenuous efforts for revival of sports, films, music and heritage as well as building sports infrastructure and academies to promote and revive sports by carrying forward the vision of former prime minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.
Speaking as chief guest at the conference of International Sports Press Association here she said that the return of peace through collective efforts of the nation had produced congenial atmosphere for the revival of international sports activities in Pakistan.
The MOS reiterated that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was carrying forward the baton to ensure uninterrupted revival and promotion of films, music, heritage and sports with a theme “I feel proud to be a citizen of Pakistan”.
Marriyum observed that Pakistan had a very rich culture and sports were an integral part of it as every person
in Pakistan was a sportsman at heart. She said that Pakistanis were a proud and brave nation that had fought terrorism for the last 35 years with an unyielding commitment and solidarity and along
with the armed forces made unparalleled sacrifices. The minister also eulogized the vital role that media played in the fight against terrorism.
The minister said that Pakistan overcame terrorism with the efforts of the federal and provincial government by implementing Internal Security Policy and National Action Plan in line with the vision of the former Prime Minister.
She said that though peace had returned to Pakistan but a lot still needed to be done. Marriyum pointed out that the provincial government were also investing heavily in the sports infrastructure and developing new playgrounds.
She informed the audience that under the Prime Minister’s Eduction Reforms Programme, sports facilities at 422 schools and colleges of Islamabad were being upgraded and it had been made incumbent upon the educational institutions to provide grounds and sports facilities to the students.
The MOS said that the return of international cricket as well as other sports to Pakistan was an auspicious development.
She said that the arrival of sportsmen and guests from other countries was very encouraging for every Pakistani and it indicated the fact that the world acknowledged Pakistan as a peaceful country.
She thanked all the foreign sportsmen who had visited Pakistan during the last four years and helped in the revival of sports activities in the country.
Marriyum said that Pakistan was now fighting another war to erase the ‘perception of terrorism’ which was more difficult and arduous.
The minister said that Pakistan had a relatively young population as 60 per cent of the people were less than 40 years old adding youth should be part of healthy activities to achieve the dream of a peaceful society. She maintained that one of the ways to cure aggressiveness among youth was to engage them in sports.
The minister also underscored the need for engaging communities in the task of promotion of sports and fighting intolerance.
Marriyum praising the role of media in cultivating interest of the people in sports said that the holding of Sports Journalists conference in Islamabad was yet another great day for every Pakistani as 70 sports journalists and delegates from 30 countries were participating in it. She said that the conference would providean opportunity to the young sports journalists to learn new writing skills from their seniors.
AIPS President Gianni Merlo, AIPS member from Hungary Zsuzsa CSISZTU and President Sports Writers Federation Amjad Aziz Malik also spoke about the importance of journalists and writers in promotion of sports.
The foreign delegates expressed the desire to work in coordination with their Pakistani colleagues to encourage sports and promotion of peace.
The minister gave life-time achievement awards to renowned and legendary commentators Chishti Mujahid, Mohammad Idrees, Tariq Raheem and others who brought sports into home and hearts of the people and gave them a reason to be proud of themselves as well as knowing their sports heroes in games of cricket, hockey and squash.
The session concluded with exchange of momentos and groups photos.
Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage in collaboration with AIPS organized the conference.