APP32-25 ISLAMABAD: December 25 – Athletes from Balochistan Provice marching out on the opening ceremony of the 2nd Quaid-e-Azam Inter Provincial Games 25-29 December at Sports Complex in the Federal Capital. APP photo by Javed Qureshi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 25 (APP):The Quaid-e-Azam Inter Provincial Games-2017 commenced on Monday with a colourful pageantry at the Liaquat Gymnasium of Pakistan Sports Complex.
Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony, declared the games opened.
Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, top sports officials from all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were also present on the occasion. Hundreds of people from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad witnessed the ceremony.
The events that were held during the ceremony intrigued spectators and athletes. From torch relay to traditional
dances and performance of artists, the audience were left hanging in amusement.
Renowned singers Sanam Marvi and Malku’s performance, in particular enthralled the audience at the gripping ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said such activities played a key role in the overall development of a society.
He said the nations, whose playgrounds were full of sports activities remained healthy, both physically and mentally.
He said Pakistan had a lot of talent but there was a need for planned and sincere efforts to revive the country’s status in international circuit.
“In the past we were unbeatable in sports like squash and hockey. In cricket too we had a high standard but our standard has gone down because merit was trampled,” he said.
He said Pakistan could once again rise if sports activities were revived in schools and clubs.
He also stressed the need to understand the importance of providing opportunities to the youth to showcase their skills in sports.
“Sports play a vital role in building the character of the youth and involve them in positive and healthy activities. Unfortunately, the country has been facing security issues for the last few years and our play grounds are empty
and our nation is deprived of watching their favorite players in action against the international players in front of them.
But now with active steps taken by the federal government and with the sacrifices of our armed forces, the overall security situation of the country is much improved. We salute our security forces including police who are protecting us in this tough situation” he added.
He congratulated the IPC ministry, PSB for staging this mega event. He also commended the efforts of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.
Mian Riaz Husain Pirzada on the occasion said the Quaid-e-Azam Games were aimed at promoting
provincial harmony and bringing people together.
He hoped that the event would also portray a soft image of the country at the international level.
He expressed the optimism that the participants would return to their respective areas with pleasant memories. He asked the sports federations would closely observe the games and pick up the talented youth to polish their skills for representing the country at the national and international level.