International conference on peace and sports concludes

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By our correspondent

PESHAWAR: The two-day international conference on ‘Peace and Sports’ organized by the Pakistan Sports Writers Federation (PSWF) concluded here on Tuesday with the outcome that ‘sports yields peace and peace can be sustained through sports’.

Speaking on the occasion Khyber Pakhtunkhwa acting Governor and speaker provincial assembly Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said that it was the demand of the time to ensure international community that they were peace loving people.

“And today the peace has been restored in the country due to sacrifices from our security forces,” Ghani said. “People think that we are terrorists. I want to tell all of them that terrorists came from across the border and our few neighbouring countries are involved in that. And we fought frontline war against the terrorists. We sacrificed around 80,000 security forces and general public in this war,” Ghani said. “We are not terrorists, we are peace loving people. Peace can only be gained through sports. Even if rival countries exchange sports, then they can succeed in creating a better environment,” said Ghani.

He said that it cannot be denied that sports play a pivotal role in the creation of peace. “And I will tell you that despite law and order situation, sports events were held here in order to keep life going,” Ghani said.

KP IG Police Moazzam Jah Ansari said that peace is the ultimate result of security. “And for security law enforcement efforts, counter terrorism efforts, counter militancy efforts and counter extremist ideologies are more important. KP police has come a long way. We fought and AlhamduLillah the people of KP have won. You are the winners. You are going to enjoy the benefits of peace. And when we see the sports grounds which are active, vibrating and pulsating, it means that our extremist institutions are on the recession,” Moazzam said.

“When you have your sports grounds for people the hot beds of extremism, insurgency and militancy are empty. KP police is striving hard to ensure that peace and security are sustained. The sustainability of peace is only through sports,” he said.

“We have to find out all those places where you have a lot of violence and lot of terrorism, introduce sports there and you will find that the youth today have a lot of energy. They want to do something with their energy. And if you give them an option and involve them in sports, ventilate their energy on the ground is a more healthy activity and then finding a weapon and doing violence will be elusive,” the IG said.

Special assistant to KP Chief Minister on Information and PR Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said that they have learnt through their sufferings.

“We have learnt that human interaction and efforts for peace, trying to give space to peace in our lives is the most important objectives which we must have as human being,” Saif said. “Humanity after all is the most significant and pivotal and the most important factor in our lives. We have to strive for finding various values and various mediums to promote values. And sports, in my opinion, is one of such mediums that has been used by human being throughout history,” he said. “Starting from Greek civilization until now I believe sports always has played a pivotal role in the promotion and protection of peace,” he said.

“Despite all this our foremost duty is to strive for peace and sports always has played a pivotal role in achieving this objective. KP government is fully aware that peace is the most important requirement of this region especially after two decades of war. I believe we are the people who know the value of peace. We are the people who respect peace,” the minister said.

He said promotion of understanding is the key to peace. “I think sports is one such initiative and plays an important role in the creation of peace. Can I believe that sports is a manifestation of art and culture of the society. If you look through the domain of the traditional sports it does nothing but expresses your cultural modalities and traits that is also an area which I believe must be looked at,” said Saif.

Nargis Mehmoodzadi, a member of the AIPS Europe from Azerbaijan, said that peace already exists in people’s thinking. “The goal of the Olympic movement is to build peace by educating people through sports. “Sports unite people beyond borders,” Nargis said.

 

Former squash guru Qamar Zaman also appreciated the organisers for managing such a fine function.

“KP has produced a lot of sportsmen in cricket, hockey, football and basketball. KP has produced seven squash world champions, who ruled the world for 37 long years,” Qamar said.

The AIPS ExCo member Emanuel Fantaneanu of Romania said that nothing is more vital than the building of peace and this target can be achieved through sports.

“Sports promotes peace, tolerance and understanding and sports icons are idolized by the youth,” he said.

Seasoned sports journalists Ijaz Chaudhry said that sports can play a bigger role in creating harmony and peace among different ethnic groups and cultures.

He said that in South Africa threat of a civil war was deferred through the Rugby World Cup around three decades ago.

Pakistan Sports Writers Federation (PSWF) president Amjad Aziz Malik said the conference was organized in order to portray soft image of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan in the entire world.

The conference was also attended by 11 delegates from nine countries including Romania, Hungary, South Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

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