31st National Games opening ceremony today
Peshawar—In an unprecedented security arrangement the full dress rehearsal of the 31st National Games was held here on Friday at Qayyum Sports Complex.The stadium was completely cordoned off as hundreds of police and army personnel were deployed in and out side the venue. Snipers were also deployed at surrounding buildings of the stadium.
Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain was the guest of honour for the rehearsal ceremony. Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Minister for Sports Syed Aqil Shah was supervising the entire event.The show was started with the entrance of clowns followed by the traditional drummers. Children of Islamia Collegiate were holding the flag of Pakistan Olympic Association which was followed by the March Past of the contingents. The biggest contingent was of Pakistan Army, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Olympic torch was lit by former hockey player and Olympian Rahim Khan, who represented Pakistan in Atlanta, winning of the 1994 world cup squad and Championship trophy gold medal in the same year but many international appearances.
Hassan Ali took oath on behalf of players Hanif got the same on behalf of the officials, referees and judges. National anthem was also sung by students of local school. Qazi Tufail, the famous glider rider of Ababel Eltra Lights Sports and Flying Club, who had a honor of “Tamga Imtiaz” and Presidential Award, displayed his performance. Students of Agricultural University Public School exhibited outstanding PT show. The Pakistan Army Military Police motorcyclists also performed aerobics. An interesting situation occurred when the Chief City Police Officer (CCPO) Liaqat Ali Khan in his surprise visit to the stadium found the police officials enjoying the show instead of performing their duties. He shouted and admonishes the officials who then rushed to their duty points.
Mian Iftikhar while talking to the media said that it was very encouraging that the two times postponed national games at last started in Peshawar. He said the provincial government had made fool-proof security arrangements for the security of players’ officials and spectators. The overall security situation in the province is far better then previous years and through National Games we want to give the message of peace and love to all,” he said.
A contingent of 349 players and officials, from Punjab, and along with Pakistan Police, also reached to complete the 15 unites in the historical games where contingents from FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, AJK were the debutant. Islamabad got a full affiliation and as affiliated unites of the POA, they are taking part in the games for the very first time.
Now more than 5000 plus athletes with officials will be taking part from 15 different unites comprising AJK, Baluchistan, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan, HEC, Islamabad, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Police, Pakistan Railways, Punjab, Sindh, Wapda and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The overall history of the National Games is as under:- 1948 Karachi-Punjab 1950 Lahore-Services 1952 Lahore-Services 1954 Sahiwal-Not trophy was awarded 1955 Dhaka-(formerly East Pak) Services 1956 Lahore-Pakistan Army 1958 Peshawar-Pakistan Army 1960 Dhaka-(formerly East Pak) Pakistan Army 1962 Lahore-Pakistan Army 1964 Dhaka-(formerly East Pak) Pakistan Army 1966 Lahore 1968 Dhaka-(formerly East Pak) 1970 Karachi Pakistan Army 1972 Lahore-Pakistan Army 1974 Peshawar-Pakistan Army 1976 Karachi-Pakistan Army 1978 Lahore-Pakistan Army, Pakistan Railways 1980 Karachi-Pakistan Army, Sindh 1982 Peshawar-Pakistan Army, Punjab 1984 Faisalabad-Pakistan Army, Punjab 1986 Quetta-Pakistan Army, Punjab 1988 Karachi-Pakistan Army, Punjab 1990 Peshawar-Pakistan Army, Punjab 1992 Lahore-Pakistan Army.—APP