ISLAMABAD - Top international wrestlers will be seen in action in the International Wrestling Competitions to be held here at the Jinnah Stadium of the Pakistan Sports Complex from tomorrow (Wednesday).

Speaking at the press conference here at Pakistan Sports Complex on Monday, Ring of Pakistan (ROP) Chairman Pir Syed Asim Ali Shah Kazmi, along with ROP Managing Director Syed Imran Hussain Shah, attributed third edition of the ROP to the brave people of Kashmir and armed forces of Pakistan, who laid down their lives in the line of duty.

He said that defending champion Badshah Phelwan Khan will be seen in action along with international wrestlers Tiny Iron and Sokell Well while local wrestlers Inam Butt, Tayyab Awan and others will also compete against the best in the business. “We will also host strong man competition for the first time in Pakistan, in which local wrestlers will compete on August 28 to 30.”

He said WWE super star Chris Masters along with six top professional wrestlers are already lined up by ROP. “This year, we won’t be hosting ladies wrestling events, while the event will be held in Jinnah Stadium, as Liaqat Gymnasium is under renovation/maintenance process. The ISPR motivation was the reason behind hosting the events successfully in the country, while IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza and Pakistan Sports Board also lent a helping hand to us.

“I welcome all international wrestlers from UK, America and other parts of the world. The professional wrestling rules are different from traditional wrestling and kickboxing. We have agreements with international companies and we will prepare our local talent and introduce them to international arenas. We are loyal Pakistanis and Kashmir is our lifeline. We want to show solidarity with brave people of Pakistan. It is also our government agenda and we will send a very positive message to international community,” he added.

Sharing his views, ROP MD Syed Imran said: “We always have to show the world that we are sports-loving and peace-loving nation. In next few days, more super stars are arriving in Pakistan. When they return to their respective countries, they will inform their fellow countrymen about the real image of Pakistan.

“We want to invite more mega stars next year. We are about to start academies and provide local talent ample opportunities to exhibit their prowess at higher level. We just want government to provide us support and a piece of land for the academy purposes,” he added.

He said Badhshah Pehalwan Khan is a hero of Pakistan and he wears Pakistani colour costume, when he appears in the ring. “The main support is rendered by ISPR while ANF is with us, who has slogan ‘say no to drugs’. Dr Fahmida assures me all-out help while the PSB DG is also very kind. Nobody financially supported us here in Pakistan.

“People always try to create hurdles rather than helping out. We get motivation when we were invited as chief guests in international events. We feel very proud to be ambassadors of Pakistan. When our flag is raised in UK, USA and announcement is made about ROP Chairman, we feel really proud. We are spending from our own pockets and doing this as a national service, as we also have huge passion for sports,” he added.

When asked about prices of tickets, Asim replied: “We have set Rs 750 for general public while there are four categories including Rs 1500, Rs 2500 and Rs 10,000. People must understand that huge amount of money is required to invite professional wrestlers to Pakistan. Their tickets and accommodation require hefty amount. We are spending everything from our own pockets and we will spend everything for the sake of Pakistan.”

Sokell Well said: “Shukria (thank you) to all the persons, who gave them wonderful welcome at Islamabad. I have been in wrestling since long in different roles. I always believe that wrestling is larger than life. The ROP is being run professionally and they bound to excel.”