Govt to launch countrywide sports activities: Farrukh

ISLAMABAD – State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib on Friday said that the government was contemplating to launch countrywide sports activities to encourage youngsters to participate in healthy sports activities.

Speaking at a programme organized here by Rawalpindi/Islamabad Sports Journalists Association in connection with the World Sports Journalists Day observed on Friday, he said relevant ministries in consultation with provinces were working on the plan to launch sports activities.

He said the sports coverage in newspapers and TV channels should be increased enabling the sports journalists to get their due share in the air-time of channel. The world admires Prime Minister Imran Khan as top legend of the world of sports and country’s youth idealized the PM as an ideal personality of the youth. The issues of journalists would be resolved, he said adding the PM and his team was well aware of the problems of journalists and its resolution was priority of the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Political Communication, Shahbaz Gill recalled that during the Zia ul Haq era, there were a lot of sports news as no politics was going on in those days. “At that time Prime Minister Imran Khan was playing cricket and we won World Cups not only in cricket but of hockey, snooker and squash. It was a golden era for sports and sports journalism.” He said with the flourishing sports activities, the sports journalists will also prosper. “Like the Pakistan Super League (PSL), we should also hold hockey and boxing leagues as PSL was booming all over,” he said.

Gill said Pakistan has the second highest younger population in the world which was why sports is very important for our nation. “If we won’t bring that youth towards sports then they will indulge themselves in some other activities which was harmful for the society,” he said.

Gill said sports was important part in the country’s policy making. “There was a time when we used to place pictures and posters of our beloved sportsmen on the walls of our rooms. Those pictures were the art of the sports journalists and cameraman who captured those sports moments in the camera and pictures,” he said. 

Gill said it was unfortunate that today’s prime time was only current affairs. “No talk shows are seen on the television about the problems of farmers, nurses, parenting and many other important issues.” He said sports journalists were the ones who work in the field and cannot file table stories. “Others should learn from them. Sports was an integral part of the society and it reflects the behavior of a person and helps in the decision making. In the USA the kids are taught to play chess and cards as it plays an important part in the decision making,” he said.

Gill said under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan the government was committed to raise the living standard of the low-salaried journalists. “Hopefully we will give chance to these journalists in the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. We will also request the Sapphire Bay River Ravi project to give part to the sportsman and sports journalist in it for investment,” he said.  “We were making a sports ground in every tehsil. 40 to 45 were completed while others are being made,” he said.

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