Olympics: Contingent must wear shalwar kamiz, says Pakistan’s chef de mission

Published: July 27, 2012
“We want to show our culture - just like all the other countries – and not England’s culture which is why I’m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kamiz.” PHOTO: PAKISTAN OLYMPICS ASSOCIATION

“We want to show our culture - just like all the other countries – and not England’s culture which is why I’m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kamiz.” PHOTO: PAKISTAN OLYMPICS ASSOCIATION

“We want to show our culture - just like all the other countries – and not England’s culture which is why I’m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kamiz.” PHOTO: PAKISTAN OLYMPICS ASSOCIATION Pakistan’s contingent comprises 16 officials and 23 athletes, including the 18-man hockey squad that arrived well ahead of the start. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s London 2012 chef de mission Aqil Shah wants the country’s contingent to wear shalwar kamiz in the opening ceremony today and not the western attire that the organisers have sent.

Shah revealed that he has been in constant touch with the organisers on this issue for the last five days and is not pleased with proceedings.

“We want to show our culture – just like all the other countries – and not England’s culture which is why I’m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kamiz,” Shah told The Express Tribune from London. He added that the organisers needed to understand that Pakistan’s 39-member contingent is in London as the country’s ambassadors and should portray its culture and values.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity for these athletes and they should be allowed to show what they are.”

‘All athletes focused on the job’

Shah confirmed that he has briefed all the athletes on maintaining discipline in the opening ceremony as he does not want any mishap that could lead to embarrassment.

He claimed that all the athletes were in good shape and the mood in the camp was bright despite the stories published in The Sun with regards to the fake passport scam.

“It’s unfortunate that such a report was published to distract our athletes but I can confirm that everybody is focused on the job ahead.”

Shah added that the pleasant weather in London was helping Pakistan and that the Pakistan Olympic Association President Arif Hassan visited the Olympic Village yesterday to check the facilities while having a session with the athletes as well.

Sohail Abbas, the world record holder and Pakistan’s hockey team captain, will be the country’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony tonight.

Fighter jet scrambled after plane enters no-fly zone

Meanwhile, Britain scrambled a Royal Air Force Typhoon jet on Wednesday after a commercial airliner entered restricted airspace put in place for the London Olympics, said the Ministry of Defence.

The RAF jet was launched after air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane. But contact was soon re-established with the jet and the Typhoon was called back to base.

“We can confirm that 1Typhoon launched,” said a Ministry of Defence spokesperson.

“This was in response to a commercial aircraft that was out of communication with air traffic control services. Communications were quickly restored; no further action was required.”

Britain has mounted its biggest peacetime security operation to guard the Olympics. (with additional input from AFP)

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Truth bites
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Bravo….a very good decission…stick to our culture and values


  • sashayub
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:19AM

    should wear shalwar qameez it looks smart when the boys carry the flag…it would do a low on moral nation proud….definitely better than what we need to suffer in the name of various trashy fashions shows in the country


  • Char Latan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:21AM

    That doesn’t look like a Shalwar Kameez he is wearing in that photo.


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 12:22AM

    “We want to show our culture – just like all the other countries – and not England’s culture which is why I’m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kamiz,”

    Agree with him 100%. Every country’s contingent wears their traditional dresses while our’s always wears shirt-trousers. Shalwar Kameez and Sherwani shoud be the way to go!


  • Complex
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:28AM

    Good. The only person who doesn’t have inferiority complex.


  • Pinky
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:28AM

    nice sentiment, wrong place


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 12:35AM

    that will actually be super cool if they do, and they should


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 12:40AM



  • Hafeez
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:51AM

    It’s a good decision. Let our players wear our national dress.


  • Magnanimity
    Jul 27, 2012 - 1:58AM

    Very Nice announcement Mr Shah.


  • Yasir Mehmood
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:01AM

    Shalwar kameez is not our dress too it has origins back in Turkey.


  • Aamir, Toronto
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:56AM

    Love the idea, we must do it.


  • ijaz Mir
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:02AM

    Very good proposal, Our management team and coaches are unfit with obese bellies
    Salwar Kameez will hide and they will look smart.


  • khan
    Jul 27, 2012 - 4:56AM

    shalwar kameez’s look incredibly classy if worn correctly. if all other teams are able to wear their national dresses, pakistan definitely should too!


  • Umer
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:45AM

    Are they going for knee high Shalwar then?


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 8:31AM

    If men are wearing Shalwar Kameez, what women will wear?


  • GhostRider
    Jul 27, 2012 - 8:44AM

    @Yasir Mehmood:
    then what is your dress? plz specify


  • dv sikka
    Jul 27, 2012 - 9:26AM

    how many Pakistani leaders wear their national dress when they go abroad.


  • PakArmySoldier
    Jul 27, 2012 - 10:24AM

    Oh lord. If the Pak Army doesn’t wear shalwar kameez, why should these Olympians?


  • roadkashehzada
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:06AM

    i dont think its a fancy dress show. will arab athletes be wearing kandoora and abayas? or african athletes wearing their national dress. athletes usually come in track suit with their national colour, which is fine i think.
    there are other forums to show ur national dress. give a suggestion to federal government to use urdu at least in national assembly or with non english speaking delegates


  • MastMaula
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:13AM

    Olympics is not a Cultural fest..It is a Sporting fest..Showing only a good game will earn you respect and glory..


  • Kaleem
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Good concept, but how many days we wear shalwar kameez in a week? Friday?


  • Mr S
    Jul 27, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Shalwar Qameez is not so good looking dress. They shouldn’t.


  • Zalam Singh
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:03PM

    Our culture is Dhoti kurta not Shalwar Kamiz which is Bhutto culture


  • Zaffar
    Jul 27, 2012 - 12:19PM

    The dress is part of evolutionary process as well, just like the invention of denim cloth/jeans. It played a significant role in the progress of nations, when the going got tough and hard work was paramount. It is a fact that shalwarqameez is difficult to maintain and keep clean. We as a nation cannot afford any more relaxed life style-rather we have to get our hands dirty-and have to start protecting our working force from all sorts of occupational hazards.The would need PPE(personal protection equipment inc wearing gloves, proper boots, eye protection etc etc).


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 1:57PM

    When did we declare shalwar kameez as our national dress. I think it looks awful. Specially at the Olympics!


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 2:16PM

    Shalwar Kameez is not our national dress, it was introduced by Bhutto as Awami dress. Look at Jinnah, he used to wear either suits or sherwani. If so much into national dress than get these guys a nicely stitched sherwani.


  • Usman
    Jul 27, 2012 - 2:33PM

    @Char Latan:
    and that also doesn’t look like they are in opening ceremony.


  • ps
    Jul 27, 2012 - 3:19PM

    Rightly said shalwar kameez is certainly not our national dress. Quaid-e-Azam used to where elegant suits and westernized clothing. I disagree with this notion that shalwar kameez’s inclination with culture and frankly i find shalwar kameez getting dirty quiet quickly. Yeah right then arabs might come wearing abayas and their long robes. Ha!


  • Jul 27, 2012 - 3:50PM

    These reader comments reflects the confused minds of Pakistanis thinking that by wearing shalwar kameez we will be appreciated. What about DEEDS? Nation which is on the vergre of bankrupcy should be discuusing how to revive the economy instead of discussing shalwar kameez & than discussing whether it should be above ankle or not?


  • Nono
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:03PM

    All our women athletes should wear the Burqa, with the curtain down. Lets show everybody our culture! Man, Aqil Shah don’t act like a loser.


  • Pakistanian
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:05PM

    “country’s contingent” should focus on putting a good performace as opposed to getting bogged down by such things!


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Beside Western dress, we also don’t wear Gold. We will try our best not to go close to that damn metal.


  • Umer
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:35PM

    With the current prevailing mind-set I would not have been surprised if Mumtaz Qadri led out Olympic squad.


  • Complex
    Jul 27, 2012 - 5:35PM

    Just wear Pakistani dresses and not indian/western influenced clothes.


  • muslim
    Jul 28, 2012 - 3:08AM

    wear a sherwani


  • salwa
    Jul 28, 2012 - 8:44AM

    This is our national dress u can wear what u like bt dont miss guide others its a world forum shut ur mouth for an other time


  • Aaron Upright
    Jul 28, 2012 - 1:45PM

    The Shalwar Kameez’s that they wore were awful. They looked like the they had just jumped out of bed. This is what happens when planning is replaced by emotionalism. It would have been lovely if they had been wearing sherwanis and Jinnah caps, but they were not. They looked like a bunch of stereotypical Pashtuns/Punjabi businessmen.

    As for tradition, Pakistani sportsmen have been wearing that blazers and trouser combination for 60 years and have won many laurels for the country while doing so. THATS traditional. Not a shalwar kameez suit that looks like it has not been cleaned in a month.


  • nasir
    Jul 28, 2012 - 4:53PM

    I saw the Pakistan team in the opening yesterday – CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TEACH THEM TO SMILE! , they looked like they were going to a funeral – especially the guy holding the flag – with so many millions of people watching around the world it was not a good impression


  • DevilHunterY
    Jul 28, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Since when has Shalwar Kamiz become Pakistan’s national or cultural dress? Stop making comics out of our Olympics team! Shalwar Kamiz is an awful dress fit for village folk. Unfortunately it was stupidly introduced by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his frenzy to become a hypocritical leader with a strong socialistic bent .Recommend

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