ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed confidence that time was not far off when all the international cricket teams would line up to play with Pakistan team at its homeland.
While addressing a reception held in Islamabad to welcome the ICC Champions Trophy triumphant Pakistan Cricket Team, the prime minister expressed his pleasure over Pakistan Cricket Team’s marvels during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England.
The prime minister said that scarcity of playgrounds was the main issue which were usually occupied by teams of grown-up people. He assured that playgrounds with allied facilities would be constructed at all the union councils to offer facilities to the young budding players.
Sharif assured that his government would continue patronage of sports in the Country. He said that such prospects were also infusing new spirit into sports activities in the Country.
The prime minister said that Pakistan had its self-respect and advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Executive Committee Chairman Najam Sethi not to beg any foreign team to come and play here.
The prime minister also recounted his childhood memories regarding the cricket game and the tips which were given to him for improving his batting.
Earlier, the Pakistan Team led by Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed were introduced to the prime minister.
The team was warmly received by Federal Ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb, Abid Sher Ali, Ahsan Iqbal, Ishaq Dar and Khawaja Muhammad Asif, advisor Irfan Siddiqui and others.
Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, federal cabinet members and a number of parliamentarians were also present on the occasion.
The reception was attended by the PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan, Najam Sethi, Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq and former National Cricket Stars.
In his address, the prime minister further said that due to the policies of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, Pakistan now enjoyed the status of a fast developing country among the comity of nations.
The prime minister said that when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the Country was at the brink of default, with power shortage and terrorism plaguing the people. But Pakistan embarked upon a journey of progress and prosperity with several development initiatives taken by his government, boosting its power, energy and infrastructure sectors, he added.
The prime minister said that the power sector was now witnessing an unprecedented boom with the establishment of new power plants. Similarly, a vast network of roads and motorways was being laid, he said, mentioning the Lahore to Karachi motorway and six-lane Hyderabad-Sukkar-Multan-Lahore motorway.
In addition, he said that Gwadar and Khunjrab were also being linked through roads at a cost of about Rs 1,000 billion. He said that the Country’s growth rate was on the surge, which would soon touch the mark of 6 per cent.
The prime minister said the backbone of terrorists had been broken and informed the gathering that he was told by the Azad Kashmir prime minister and the Gilgit Baltistan chief minister about the influx of visitors thronging the scenic valleys.
Nawaz Sharif said that such a phenomenon was being observed during the last few months as the visitors were arriving Neelum and Leepa valleys and Khunjrab Pass.