Friday, November 21, 2008

Pakistan Open Golf in January 2009

By Ehsan Qureshi

The prestigious Pakistan Open Golf Championship would be returning to Karachi after one year and will be staged from January 29 to February 1. This was disclosed by Taimur Hassan, Secretary, Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF), during a recent media briefing.
The US$400,000 was schedule to be held at the Karachi Golf Club in January 2008 but had to be postponed due to security concern following the assassination of former Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. "I had fruitful meeting with Asian Tour Director Kya Han in Singapore and he had allocated the slot to PGF," the PGF Secretary said. He believed that Asian Tour Director was very positive for the event in Pakistan, expressing the hope that top golfers from Europe, America, Africa will be returning to Pakistan. "Participation of top golfers will open help in removing security concerns of sporting teams visiting Pakistan," he added. Taimur Hassan, who himself remained international golfer of international repute for over a decade said, PGF Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiayani, the serving Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), was taking personal interest in holding of Pakistan Open. He revealed that Pakistan golfer Muhammad Munir was doing great on Asian Tour in India and Singapore. He disclosed that Munir finished eighth among the galaxy of top golfers across the world in the Indian Open scooping handsome purse of US$24,000 and collected US$14,000 in Santosa Open in Singapore. He said that it was very encouraging news from Pakistan standard and it will help in boosting the game in the country adding that Munir with fellow Pakistan pro Shabbir Iqbal featured in Santonsa Open. Taimur Hassan said two Pakistanis Umer Ghayas and Jamal left her Umer Ghayas Jamal Badshah Indian Academy to attend the teaching school in ChaSport-Golf Dutch expert to lend helping hand in Pakistan hockey revival Observer Report The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), having become proactive lately, has reached a two-year contract with a Dutch hockey expert Wouter Tazelaar to develop basic structure of academies to help revive the game. The top PHF officials, who have shown great energy during the past few weeks, proved that they mean business by signing the contract with the Dutch expert. Speaking on the occasion the PHF Secretary, Muhammad Asif Bajwa observed that the step to hire the services of foreign coach and expert aims at giving a fresh lease of life to hockey which was once a pride for Pakistan due to lot of achievements at international level. "It is unfortunate that our hockey standards have gone down in recent years and it is time to get into action to save hockey from complete destruction,” he said. The PHF Secretary disclosed that the Dutch expert will be monitoring all the 11 academies which will be set up across the country and will start functioning from January 5, 2009. "Wouter will also be grooming our coaches to help them become FIH certified educated coaches as our lack in the field of qualified coaching,” Asif Bajwa added.
Another important task to be assigned to the foreign coach is to interact with the managements of senior and junior hockey teams for bringing improvement in the respective sides. "It does not mean that he will be a part of the team managements, his role will be to guide them through presentations and useful tips, not to interfere in the job of the team managements,” the PHF Secretary remarked. Wouter said he will be signing the contract after reviewing it with his lawyer back home. "From my end it is finalised but I want to make sure that it does not lack in any manner because signing a contract was an important task and he wants to make sure that everything is in order before taking up assignment with PHF,” he said. The 41-year Wouter a mid-field player who represented Holland in three international matches in 1990 is a FIH qualified coach is set to return to Pakistan in early January. He said the academies will be set up at Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, Quetta, Bannu, Abbottabad, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Sialkot,Bahawalpur and Gojra and in each institution 60 players of U-14,15,16 will be inducted to learn hockey. He considered his job as a big challenge and responsibility as Pakistan is without any title which indicates that dire efforts are needed to come out of present situation. "It is not an ideal situation in which Pakistan hockey today is but the players are gifted with natural hockey talent and skills and if groomed in academies they can help attain the lost glory,” he said.
He clarified that he would not be interfering in the job of senior and junior hockey team managements rather he would be extending support to them through various suggestions and presentations. PSO to sponsor Pakistan International Senior Tennis By Ehsan Qureshi The 10th edition of PSO International Senior Tennis Championship will be held at the Karachi Club hard courts from November 24 to 30. Besides top ranked under-35 player Kothiyal Morthy of India, Charlier Francois (Belgium), Wolfgang (Germany), Lesslo Tobold (Hungary) and Filippo (Italy) foreign player have entered the fray. Speaking at joint news conference at Karachi Club, President of Pakistan Senior Tennis Association (PSTA), Vice President Jamal Mirza, Secretary STA Khalid Rehmani, Ex- Davis Cupper Altaf Hussain and Tournament Director Khalid Rehmani disclosed that top players of Pakistan will be in action. Saeed Hai said Pakistan's top senior player Rashid Malik, Hameed- ul-Haq, Jamil Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed, Karim Gul Agha, Abdul Saeed, Altaf Hussain, Ejaz Sarhadi, Akbar Khan and Azharuddin are prominent Pakistan player that would be taking in the week-long gala with six players from Peshawar, two Islamabad and one from Lahore. He said 35, 45, 55 singles and doubles for men and 35 singles and doubles event for women will be contested. To a question Saeed Hai said they were also promoting junior tennis and senior circuit was a part of International Tennis Federation (ITF). He, however, expressed his dismay over non participation of Pakistan player Aisam-ul-Haq in Karachi circuits. He reckoned that the participation of Aisam in National events in Karachi will help the local to watch him in action. Saeed Hai said that it was a matter of immense satisfaction for the PSTA for having organized the senior event annually and it was a milestone of sorts conducting 10th senior event. He thanked the Karachi Club for providing the facilities of international standard for their players. He said that the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was providing rupees quarter of million sponsorship money for conducting the championship. Acting President KC Munawar Shaikh, Sports Convener KC Alamgir Anwar Shaikh also spoke on the occasion. Qaim Ali Shah briefed on road sector projects in Sindh Observer Report Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that work has been geared up on road construction and repair in the rural areas to provide better travelling facilities to people. He made the statement while reviewing new road construction projects at a meeting held at Chief Minister House in Karachi.
In the briefing on the occasion, Provincial Minister for Works and Services, Manzoor Wassan informed that this year schemes for construction of 1642 Km long roads have been approved. He said Rs 1.50 billion have been earmarked in the budget for construction of 500 Km of roads by the department, 530 Km by district governments and 612 Km schemes given by MNAs, MPAs and Chief Minister. He said that the overall expenditure has been estimated at over Rs 10.95 billion while schemes under ADP and with Federal Government and MNAs funding will also be started. The meeting was informed that the Federal Government will construct and repair the roads from Gharo to Keti Bundar, Larkana to Moenjo Daro, Larkana to Shahdadkot and some other roads while work on construction of 90 Km long coastal highway will also be started this year for which initially Rs 200 million have been kept.
It was also disclosed that National Highway Authority will start work soon on the reconstruction and repair of National Highway from Kot Diji to Khairpur. Nasrin Jalil assures support to welfare organizations Observer Report The Karachi Naib Nazim, Nasrin Jalil has observed that the City Government desire to extend cooperation to proactive social welfare organizations particularly those working in the health and education fields with the spirit of serving the humanity. She made the observation while talking to a delegation of Goodmsartin Hospital, a Korean welfare organization, who called on her recently. “Our mission is to provide all possible assistance at government level to welfare organizations engaged in the service to humanity so that better facilities could be made available to citizens. We are doing politics with the spirit of service,” she said. Dr Luke Lim, a delegation member, revealed that Goodsmartin Hospital which was started as Clinic is now a 40-bed hospital where medical facilities are being provided in general OPD. The delegation said that their organization desires to work in the fields of health and education including shelter home for children, English and computer teaching centres. They added that they do not want land but sincere cooperation in their projects. Pak community supported Obama in US elections Observer Report The support of the Pakistanis having made the United States (US) as their home was one of the factors in the historic victory of Senator Barack Obama in the Elections 2008. “The Pakistani community in the United States played an active role in the election campaign of US President-elect Senator Barack Obama, who is going to be one of the best presidents of the United States as he understands problems and is a man of peace,” Anila Ali, Director of the Council of Pakistan-American Affairs in California, was quoted as saying during her recent visit to Karachi. Anila Ali, an educator, community organizer and social worker, firmly believed that the President-elect is looking forward to do the best for the American people as well as those in the rest of the world. "We are very proud that the Pakistanis got together and worked and stood right behind Barack Obama,” she said.
She was of the opinion that the policies of President-elect Obama were going to be very good for the world, its economy and environment are very good for Pakistan also because the Vice President-elect Biden is a great friend of Pakistan. Anila who was herself quite active in the fund raising for Obama election campaign, pointed out that besides herself Dr. Asif Mahmood and Hamid Malik and a couple of donors from the Pakistani-American community had an half- an- hour meeting with Senator Obama. She said that the Pakistani community in USA wants to improve the image of Pakistan and that this is our top priority and that we want to remove misconceptions about our religion. She also pointed out that with the success of Senator Obama the people have a lot of hope that the economy is going to come back, the war in Iraq is going to end. She recalled having joined the Obama election campaign, started making phone calls soliciting support for the Senator, doing field work by walking to the houses, knocking on the doors. She was confident that Senator Obama is going to be one of the best presidents of the United States because he understands the problems in the USA and the gravity of the situation.