Monday May 20, 2024

Pakistan to get huge benefit from SCO initiatives, says Asif

By Alam Zeb Safi
May 21, 2022

KARACHI: A crucial three-day sitting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) concluded in Tashkent on Friday in which member nations discussed various action plans and took solid decisions regarding sports and cultural matters.

A delegation of Pakistan comprising IPC minister Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari, IPC joint secretary Fazal-e-Haq and Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (retd) Mohammad Asif Zaman also attended the series of meetings which had begun on May 18. The member states gave their thumbs up for mutual training and coaching exchange programmes in the sports sector.

“We have discussed many action plans which were on the agenda. And the fate of the SCO Games will be decided in a meeting going to be hosted by India next year,” Col Asif told ‘The News’ from Tashkent on Friday.

“We are mutually collaborating with all SCO states relating to bilateral coaching, training, seminars and these member states will also play with each other in various sports disciplines,” said Asif, also a former Asian junior squash champion. “It was also decided that the SCO member states will work on zero tolerance relating to doping and will make their best efforts for eliminating this menace from sports,” he added.

Asif hoped that Pakistan would be hugely benefited by the initiatives.

“Yes, it was a fine discussion which resulted in solid outcomes and Pakistan will also be able to get quality coaching expertise and train its budding athletes in these countries because of these commitments mutually agreed,” he said.

Pakistan direly needs such training and coaching exchange initiatives. The big plus of the organisation is that it carries almost all strong sporting nations with rich sports heritage. And Asif is happy that such programmes will be helpful for all member states, especially, Pakistan. “We will get coaches from these countries for various disciplines and even some of our coaches can help them in certain games besides preparing for international events while conducting training exchange programmes,” he said.

“All eight nations of the bloc have a huge potential in sports and may benefit each other. The presence of such a unit is very important. Today I am happy as a former player and DG PSB that we are part of such an enterprise which besides other sectors also is interested in the promotion of sports of its member states,” Asif concluded.

China, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are members of the SCO which attended the sittings.