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IPC Minister declares 2025 as year of sports revival in Pakistan

By News Desk

April 16, 2024 05:27 PM


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The Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination has announced his intention to declare the year 2025 as the "Year of Sports Revival." In an era where global connections are more crucial than ever, harnessing the power of sports and tourism has emerged as a cornerstone for nations seeking to project their soft power on the world stage.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal said this during a press talk after assuming charge as Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination in Islamabad.

He emphasized the pivotal role of sports in fostering international cooperation, cultural exchange, and economic growth. By leveraging the universal language of sports, nations can build bridges, break barriers, and cultivate a sense of unity among people worldwide.

Furthermore, the Minister highlighted the inseparable link between sports and tourism as catalysts for national development. Every country possesses unique cultural and natural assets that can be showcased through sporting events, attracting visitors and investment alike. Tourism not only generates revenue but also plays a crucial role in shaping a nation's global identity. He said that tourism and sports are two of the most important sectors under Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination. The immediate boost of these sectors will propel this country towards regional dominance, as well as global dominance. 

"Investing in sports and tourism is not merely about economic gains; it's about asserting our nation's presence and influence on the global stage," the Minister asserted.

Shortly after Minister assumed charge of Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, he was briefed by Secretary IPC about the ministry’s role, progress and key initiatives as well as challenges. Drawing attention to the challenges in sports industry of Pakistan, he stated that the landscape of professional sports stands at a critical juncture, with the shadow of politics looming large over the realm of athletic competition. Despite the nation's rich sporting heritage and immense talent pool, the rampant influence of politics within sports federations has impeded the growth and development of professional sports. Political interference in the form of nepotism and favouritism has stifled the potential of athletes, undermined the integrity of competitions, and hindered the emergence of Pakistan as a force to be reckoned with on the global sporting stage. Excessive politicization of sports federations has been detrimental to the progress of professional sports in Pakistan.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal shared his vision of immediately reviving sports federations by hiring board members who possess the expertise, vision, and dedication to prioritize the welfare of athletes. Structural reforms within sports federations are imperative to create an enabling environment for athletes to thrive and excel on the global stage, the minister emphasized.

Secretary IPC Nadeem Irshad Kayani  apprised the Minister about challenges faced by respective departments of the Ministry, including formulation of Sports Policy, election of football federation’s governing body and the delayed South Asian Federation (SAF) Games, initially slated for 2024 but rescheduled for April 2025. The Minister directed ministry officials to kickstart preparations for SAF games this year, which will be a pivotal opportunity for Pakistan to showcase its sporting prowess on the regional stage.

However, a pressing concern looms as Pakistan's football federation remains without governance due to delayed elections. Urgent attention is needed to rectify this situation, ensuring the smooth functioning and representation of Pakistan's football players, the Minister urged officials managing the relevant portfolio.

Highlighting the significance of upgrading the tourism sector, Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the importance of a distinct brand identity in promoting destinations has never been more pronounced. Developing countries, in particular, are increasingly recognizing the need to establish a compelling narrative and image to position themselves as tourism hotspots and attract visitors from around the world. Sharing his thoughts about effective national tourism campaigns, he mentioned countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore who have successfully capitalized on strategic branding campaigns to showcase their unique cultural heritage, natural wonders, and hospitality. By leveraging their brand identities, these nations have experienced a surge in tourist arrivals, bolstered economic growth, and enhanced their global reputation as must-visit destinations. Pakistan must prioritize the development of a compelling brand identity to unlock its tourism potential and showcase its diversity and beauty to the world, the Minister remarked.

Discussing his plan to revive National Internship Program, which has been dormant since 2019, Minister said that it had served as a lifeline for countless young individuals seeking to gain practical experience and earn a sustainable income. Its revival is not merely a matter of administrative procedure but a crucial step towards empowering the nation's youth and fostering economic resilience.


News Desk


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