PESHAWAR      -    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister for Sports Atif Khan and President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Olympic Association Syed Aqil Shah Friday agreed to hold 33rd National Games in October this year in the province.

They discussed in detail to hold matches of the National Games in Peshawar Sports Complex, Abdul Wali Khan Sports Complex Charsadda and Hayatabad Sports Complex Peshawar, as all these venues have international standard facilities.

Aqil Shah, who is also Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) vice president, told Atif Khan that POA has allotted the National Games to KP Olympic Association and expressed the hope that in a joint collaboration of KP government and Directorate of Sports KP and KPOA, all-out efforts would be made to make this mega event a memorable one.  He also informed Atif Khan that Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (R) Arif Hassan would soon visit Peshawar to hold meeting with KP CM Mahmood Khan, KP Governor Shah Farman and Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mahmood. They would discuss law and order situation besides taking steps for the smooth conduct of the games.  The National Games torch rally will be kicking off from Mazar-e-Quaid (Karachi) from September 1, 2019 and go through all cities. The torch would enter Peshawar Sports Complex on the opening day.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will grace the occasion as chief guest.

A total of 12000 players in 34 different games would take part from Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Wapda, Railways, HEC, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Moreover, Aqil told Atif Khan that POA was in talks with Sri Lankan Olympic Association, Afghanistan Olympic Association, Olympic Association China and India and Olympic Association Bangladesh for inviting them to participate in the 23rd National Games.

Aqil said that KP CM Mahmood Khan has already expressed his willingness during his meeting and showed his keen interest for allocating a special grant for these Games.

He disclosed that KP Olympic Association, having vast experienced of holding such Games, in 1958, 1974, 1982, 1990, 1998 and 2010, is ready to host these games again. “Directorate General Sports KP has processed a summary to the KP CM seeking approval and release of funds. The government is keen to hold the event, as it will provide ample opportunities to the players from across the country to play in KP.”