After a nine-year pause, primarily due to the menace of militancy in the region, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province initiated the 33rd National Games in the capital city of Peshawar on Sunday with the “play for peace” as its logo for this year.
The Chief Minister of the province Mehmood Khan, who was accompanied by Corp. Commander Peshawar Shaheen Mazhar and other government officials, kicked-off the event that will continue for 7 days at the Peshawar Qayyum Sports Complex.
The first National Games were held at Polo Ground, Karachi in April, 1948. The total number of athletes who participated in the event was 140. The athletes and officials from East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) and all the integrated Provincial units of West Pakistan took part in the games. The major games of the event were including; Basketball, Cycling, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.
In a meeting with the Organizing Committee of the First Pakistan Olympic Games held at Karachi the Quaid-i-Azam said;
“Dedicate yourself to sports promotion, for when you and I are gone, leadership will go into the hands of Youth, and Youth is our wealth, a raw material, that must be hammered into shape, into burnished steel to strive and smite in defense – the defense of the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan – the defense of the ideology of Pakistan.”
Result of previous National Games
|1954||Sahiwal||Not trophy was awarded|
|1955||Dhaka (formerly East Pak)||Services|
|1960||Dhaka (formerly East Pak)||Pakistan Army|
|1964||Dhaka (formerly East Pak)||Pakistan Army|
|1968||Dhaka (formerly East Pak)||Pakistan Army|
Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan in an interview had said that tourism, environment, culture and heritage will be the theme of the forthcoming 33rd National Games .He said a total of 10,000 athletes from 12 different units including Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Punjab, Pakistan Police, Sindh, Balochistan, Wapda, Railways, HEC, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir would take part in the mega event and KP would host the event. He said, the event would present a softer image of the province, as the people of the province are peace loving and want to get rid of the menace of terrorism.
The 33rd national games would cost 170 million and undoubtedly it would depict a soft image of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in rest of the world that the people of the land are peace loving and believe in peace.
The efforts of President of the Provincial Olympic Association Syed Aqil Shah in organizing such mega event despite all odds speak volumes about the seriousness of Provincial Olympic Association and KP government and at the same time manifest significant improvements in the law and order situation in the province, which suffered due to decades of militancy and terrorism