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PM orders policy on financial security for sportsmen through jobs in departments

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed formulation of a policy to employ athletes through departments to ensure their financial security and promote sports in the country.

He tasked Prime Minister’s Youth Programme Chairman Rana Mashhood to personally oversee the policy and ensure its implementation within one week.

The prime minister was addressing an event held to celebrate the achievement of the Pakistan hockey team that recently won a silver medal in the 30th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 in Malaysia, the official news agency reported.

PM Shehbaz said jobs for athletes would free them from the struggles of earning a livelihood, thus helping them focus on their sports.

He lauded the outstanding performance of the national hockey team, terming it a step to revive the glory of the national sport. He said the hockey team had won the hearts of the entire nation, adding that winning or losing was part of the game.

“The way you came up with a challenging and competitive spirit in the final shows a high potential of several victories in future,” he told the hockey team as Pakistan made it to the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after 13 years.

PM Shehbaz said the government was taking steps to promote sports in the country with a special focus on hockey. The renewed interest in hockey throughout Pakistan signalled a promising trend for future, he added.

“The days are not far when the glory of hockey will be revived in Pakistan and we will have more legends like Islahuddin, Samiullah and Shahbaz,” he said.

He appreciated the hard work of the team, coaches and officials of the sports board. He announced to soon invite the relevant officials from the sports board to discuss ways for the revival of hockey in the country.

The prime minister gave away cheques to the hockey players as a token of appreciation.

Pakistan captain Ammad Shakil Butt expressed his passion to keep up the spirit of his team and bring more laurels to the country.

Hockey legends including ‘Flying Horse’ Samiullah, Islahuddin Siddiqui and Shahbaz Ahmed on the occasion lauded the keen interest of PM Shehbaz Sharif for the promotion of national sport in the country.

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