Govt plans network of sports grounds for youth: PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off what he called the country’s biggest sports gala — Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive — on Monday and said that the government had disbursed Rs47 billion in scholarships and Rs100bn in soft loans to the youth.

The sports drive is part of four new projects worth Rs4 billion initiated by the present government in coordination with the Kamyab Jawan Programme and the Higher Education Commission to keep the country’s youth engaged in sports and extracurricular activities.

“Besides the promotion of sports activities, the government is also focusing on education and has disbursed Rs47bn in scholarships to 6.3 million youth, the highest number of scholarships in the country’s history,” the prime minister told a huge gathering of youths while launching the sports drive at Jinnah Stadium.

Kicks off Kamyab Jawan sports drive, chairs meeting on climate change

Mr Khan vowed that his government would lay a network of sports grounds across the country as sports gave the youth a healthy life and mental strength to fight the challenges in life.

“You win and lose in sports and defeat gives you a lesson to rise again. Sports give courage to the people to face difficulties in life,” he said, adding that since the country’s 70 percent population was under the age of 30 years, the present government had so far developed 300 and 260 sports grounds in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab respectively.

He said New Zealand, a country of just five million people, had more sports grounds than Pakistan, a country of 220m people, adding that the present government was striving to develop sports grounds in every village, town, tehsil, and district across the country.

The prime minister said that since a new sports policy had been announced, the government was taking all-out measures to reform and strengthen sports bodies and organizations and eliminate mafias from there.

Mr. Khan mentioned his 21 years of experience in sports to advise the youth that they should never feel discouraged after defeating in a game as it provided them an opportunity to review their shortcomings and prepare themselves for the next competition with renewed vigor and spirit.

The prime minister congratulated his special assistant on youth affairs Usman Dar on organizing such a big event and hoped that such talent-hunt drives would help further promote sports culture in the country.

Besides the participation of 6,000 youths — 3,300 boys and 2,700 girls — in the age group of 15 to 25 years in the sports competition, he said, a large number of youths from across the country had gathered at Jinnah Stadium to witness the sports drive.

Climate change

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the fourth meeting of the PM’s Committee on Climate Change and was briefed on issues relating to air pollution and violations of the Indus Water Treaty, adversely impacting the bio-diversity of Indus River Basin in Pakistan.

The prime minister emphasised the need for long-term planning in urban areas where environmental issues, including loss of green cover, sewage treatment, solid waste management and air pollution, needed immediate solution. He lamented that Pakistan’s contribution to global environmental pollution sources was negligible, but the impact of climate change was huge. “Pakistan is not part of the problem, yet we want to be part of the solution,” he added.

The prime minister approved in principle a concept plan of “Ecological Restoration of the Indus Basin for a Climate Resilient future”.

The concept plan comprises conservation and pollution control measures to be taken upstream, Indus plain and downstream of the Indus River Basin. A detailed plan will be completed within four months for approval and implementation. It will provide a vision and action-based framework to integrate current initiatives and develop new initiatives to fill the gaps.