The president of the Pakistan Olymic Association (POA) Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan said that POA’s executive committee has decided on Pakistani participation in the First Islamic Games to be held in Saudi Arabia in April 2005. He also revealed that the Pakistan squad is likely to be around 150 members, including athletes and officials. Pakistan will be taking part in 11 disciplines – most notably in basketball in addition to swimming, athletics, weightlifting, karate, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, handball, football and shooting.
The Olympic Committee chief said the POA executive committee also discussed and gave approval to Pakistan’s participation in the 10th South Asian Games scheduled in 2005 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The major local event however will be the 29th National Games in Quetta in October this year with 25 men and 7 women disciplines decided for the games. The Balochistan government has given its full support for holding the event in a befitting manner.
Arif Hasan acknowledged that Pakistan lacked in basic sporting facilities and there was dearth of infrastructure and equipment. “Revenue generation is a difficult task and no sport can progress without sponsorship and finances. We are doing our utmost to generate funds for the national federations so they could develop their respective sports.” Arif Hasan said government was fully committed to promotion of sports and development of infrastructure.