Sports helping highlight soft, real image of Pakistan: Qureshi

Sports helping highlight soft, real image of Pakistan: Qureshi
Sports helping highlight soft, real image of Pakistan: Qureshi

LAHORE, Dec 04 (APP):Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the government had launched multiple initiatives to highlight the real and soft image of the country and bring people of other countries closer to the people of Pakistan through sports and other such activities.

Talking to the media after watching an exhibition polo match, played between Pakistan and Argentina in connection with celebrations of 70-year friendship between the two countries, here at the Lahore Polo Club, he said that like Pakistan, sports of polo and hockey were liked and played in Argentina also.

Qureshi said that the match was a diplomatic initiative of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the government was also organising other such events to highlight the fact that Pakistanis are a sports loving nation.

He said the government recently celebrated 50 years of its relations with the United Arab Emirates on its national day as a goodwill message to the UAE government and its people.

Similarly, the Pakistan government also celebrated national days of Spain and some other countries as well.

The minister said that ambassadors of a number of countries were present at today’s polo match, which proved the fact that they feel themselves secure in Pakistan and travel in the country for such events.

To a question, Qureshi said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had softened its visa policy and on-arrival visas were being granted to people of various countries.

He said that foreigners, who visited Pakistan or they were in the country currently, were giving positive feedback about Pakistan as they roamed freely across the country and also enjoy its natural beauty. The government is promoting cultural diplomacy as Pakistan has great potential in all fields including sports and culture, he added.

To another query, he said that Pakistan wants good relations with all regional countries including India. However, he added, Pakistan could not have good relations with India until and unless it stops atrocities and sheer human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
The minister also gave away shields and the trophy to the teams.