Meeting held on 14th-South Asian Games-2023

Meeting held on 14th-South Asian Games-2023

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired the first Steering Committee meeting on 14th -South Asian Games (SAG) 2023 to be held in Pakistan.                                                                      

The meeting was attended by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza, Punjab Sports Minister, Muhammad Taimoor Khan, Secretary Government of Punjab, Secretary IPC, President Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) Retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan, Director General Pakistan Sports Board and others relevant stakeholders.                                                                

 President POA in his briefing apprised the Committee that the Prime Minister had approved 14th SAG-2023 and POA has constituted a working committee for the preparation to conduct the mega event. Pakistan last hosted the regional sports gala in Islamabad back in 2004.

The committee was informed that training camps of 14th SAG-2023 for volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting, taekwondo, athletics and hockey were arranged and foreign coaches for volleyball and taekwondo were engaged.             

It was brought into the notice of committee that events to be held in Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad while the preparation of the Secretariat for the SAG was also underway and it will be finalized soon. The Minister of Planning Development directed President POA, Pakistan Sports Board and IPC Ministry to include the largest city of the country Karachi for the event hosting of 14th SAG-2023.

Minister PD&SI highlighted that our aim is to showcase soft image to the world that Pakistan is a safe and peaceful country for sports and other international events and has the capacity to hold such mega events. The Minister PD&SI directed Secretary IPC to move a summary for budget allocation to be earmarked by the Ministry of Finance for this mega event.

During the meeting, President POA apprised the Committee that total, 27 games will be played and 5,000 people across the SAARC region which includes athletes and officials, are expected to take part of the mega event. Secretary Sports Punjab assured the Committee that Punjab is completely ready for holding the event to be held in Punjab particularly in Lahore.

Furthermore, the committee also discussed matters related to logistics, security, venue selection, player training and hiring of foreign coaches. The initial requirements like guarantee for entry of athletes on accreditation cards, free visa to dignitaries, tax and custom duty exemptions for athletes were also discussed in the meeting at length.