By Syed Khalid Mahmood
The 31st National Games, now scheduled to be staged in Peshawar later this month, would certainly have served greater purpose had it been held prior to the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
The national Olympic body, POA, don’t do anything to annoy their provincial chapters for obvious reasons. The POA Executive Council had taken the decision to postpone the 31st National Games that was to be held from March 25 to 31.
The POA President, Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan, had stated at the time of announcing the decision on March 16 that the foreign teams were already not willing to come to Pakistan because of the security issues and they didn’t want a situation where a domestic event is also affected by some incident.
The National Games, already been postponed once before last year due to security issues, was then rescheduled for December 26 to 31.
”We have given the mandate by the house in which the office-bearers of all the affiliated associations ensured their support. Besides they have shown more spirit and zeal to hold the Games on its schedule,” he observed in the media briefing.
It may be recalled that at least three people were killed and several others were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the main gate of Qayum Stadium after the closing ceremony of Inter-Provincial Games in Peshawar in November 2008.