National Games postponed again

KARACHI: As expected, the 31st National Games, which were scheduled to be held in Peshawar from March 25 to 31, were postponed on Tuesday due to security reasons.

However, the mega domestic event has been rescheduled for December 25 to 31 this year in order to utilise the inputs which have already been made by the organising committee for the conduction of the extravaganza.

This is the second time that the mega national affair was postponed. Before that it was postponed in November last year.

The vital decision was taken unanimously in the Pakistan Olympic Association’s Executive Committee meeting in Lahore on Tuesday which was presided over by the president General Syed Arif Hassan.

“The meeting was specifically called to asses whether in such a volatile security environment the Games should be held or not. And it was unanimously decided that the event should be postponed till December and now efforts would be made to ensure the holding of the spectacle from December 25 to 31,” the secretary of the POA Abdul Khaliq Khan told media after the meeting which lasted for an hour.

“The basic reason behind the fresh dates in December is to utilise the input which has already been made by the organising committee of the event by preparing different materials including medals etc,” the POA secretary said.

In the meeting, the preparatory efforts of the NWFP Sports Minister Syed Aaqil Shah were greatly appreciated by all the members.

The security assessment team under Khwaja Farooq Saeed which was sent to the Frontier capital to asses the security environment and arrangements had submitted its report to the POA in which the security environment in Peshawar for the Games was depicted as unsuitable for the event besides the reluctance shown by different stakeholders, more specifically, the armed forces.

The NWFP Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah termed the decision as unfortunate.