KARACHI: Pakistan Ju-jitsu Federation (PJJF) is eyeing to work closely with its Indian counterparts as it prepares to send a team to Amritsar for the South Asian Championship in August.
Pakistan, who are the defending champions, were scheduled to host the tournament in Lahore but will now travel to India after security concerns shifted the event to Amritsar.
While other sportsmen almost always rue missing out on hosting the event and the home fans’ cheers, PJJF Secretary Waqar Ilyas Khan said that the decision ‘will not at all’ affect the players who are looking forward to the trip.
“There is a demand for our players and coaches and we are directly in contact with the Indians,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “We are also helping them in hosting the event since our president Khalil Ahmed is also heading the Asian federation.”
According to Khan, the players are not ruing the shift to India and are focused on defending the South Asian title, which Pakistan has held for four years. Meanwhile, the Punjab association secretary Shabeena Saeed said that the current scenario works in Pakistan’s favour.
“Ju-jitsu is gaining popularity here but the biggest hindrance is security. The PJJF was chosen to host the world championship and the Asian championship together, but the ministry refused to guarantee security. But now we are getting more time to prepare the team that can win us gold medals,” said Saeed.
She added that the PJJF enjoys good relations with their Indian counterparts, who have also asked Pakistan to send its referees and coaches to train their players.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.