PESHAWAR: Gilgit-Baltishtan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have been included to field their separate contingents in the forthcoming 31st National Games commencing from December 25-31, sources in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Olympic Association disclosed here Thursday.
A special request in this connection was made from the Prime Minister Secretariat to the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, who is also chief patron of the Organizing Committee of the Games, to include both Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK to field their separate contingents that would also be part of the March Past as well.
After inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir the unites in the games increased to 15 with players from Army, PAF, Navy, Railways, HEC, Police, Wapda, Punjab, Sindh, Balochsitan, Islamabad, FATA, host Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be taking part in 21 male and seven female games.
It would also be the first occasion in the Games history that a total of 15 flags would be carried out, indicating the unity of the nation. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani will grace the opening ceremony on December 25 while President Asif Ali Zardari will be the chief guest at the closing and prize distribution ceremony.
When the Provincial Minister for Sports Syed Aqil Shah was contacted, he also confirmed high level contact was made for the inclusion of both Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. “I also confirmed and discussed the same with Pakistan Olympic Association who gave a go ahead signale, Aqil Shah added.