PESHAWAR: Former squash world champion Qamar Zaman has announced his entry into politics and relinquished his position as secretary of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Olympic Association. He maintained that due to political interference and the existence of two rival groups within the association, it has completely failed to work for the promotion of sports in the province.
“I will contest 2018 general elections,” Zaman revealed on Thursday while talking to the media at Peshawar Sports Complex. He added that a number of political parties have approached him but he has not taken a decision on which party, if any, he would be joining.
He said it is also possible to contest the election as an independent candidate.
He said he resigned from the association because it was marred by political interference and infighting among two rival groups – one loyal to the ANP’s Aqil Shah, and the other to JUI-F’s Ghulam Ali. He added that he has waited for four years hoping that the two groups would resolve their issues, but no progress was made.
Born 1952 in Quetta, Zaman was one of the world’s leading squash players in the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest triumph was winning the British Open in 1975, beating the defending-champion Geoff Hunt of Australia in the quarterfinals before downing fellow Pakistani player Gogi Alauddin.
Subsequently, Zaman reached the British Open final on four further occasions. He was runner-up to Hunt in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir Khan in 1984. He was also runner-up at the World Open four times, losing to Hunt in the finals of 1976, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir in 1984.
“Unfortunately, sports have never been a priority of any government in Pakistan,” Zaman said while criticising the K-P government. He added that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government in the province had proven to be a disappointment as far as sports were concerned.” As sports enthusiasts, we were expecting a lot from a government led by a former cricketer.
Zaman is known for his efforts to help underprivileged individuals chasing their dreams in sports. He revealed that one of his biggest motivations for joining active politics is to work for the promotion of sports and the welfare of athletes in the province.