Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the newly constructed hockey stadium in Johar Town, today. When the Chief Minister reached the function, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Ch. Akhtar Rasool and Assembly Members welcomed him. The Chief Minister unveiled the plaque of the hockey stadium and offered Dua. Addressing the function, the Chief Minister said that the new hockey stadium constructed in Johar Town will be a milestone in the training of players and modern and latest facilities of international standard have been provided at the stadium. He said that new stadium will help revive the hustle and bustle of hockey matches and will play an important role in promotion of hockey. He said that Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive policy for attracting the youth to positive activities through promotion of sports. He said that besides construction of new stadiums existing grounds are also being rehabilitated. Announcing restoration of hockey team of Punjab Police, the Chief Minister said that the hockey team will comprise of best players who will be offered attractive incentives and pay packages and they will be appointed as police officers. He said that Pakistan has a glorious record in the field of hockey and great hockey players and heroes like Shahnaz Sheikh, Akhtar Rasool and Manzoor-ul-Hassan will again be produced who will earn laurels for the country.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan said that due to special efforts and keen interest of Chief Minister Punjab a modern hockey stadium has been constructed after 25 years. He said that due to the vision of the Chief Minister, eleven world records have been set in Punjab Youth Festival and the credit for this goes to Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Former Olympian Ch. Akhtar Rasool said that Chief Minister Punjab is the ‘Shahbaz’ of Pakistan and takes lead over others due to his speed and swiftness in the performance of his duties. He said had Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif been the center forward of Pakistani hockey team, he would have held the world record for maximum goals.
Earlier, the players of Pakistan Green and Pakistan White were introduced to the Chief Minister who formally inaugurated the exhibition match by striking the ball with the hockey. The Chief Minister also witnessed the exhibition match and appreciated the facilities provided at the stadium. When the Chief Minister reached the inaugural ceremony, a dance at the beat of drums was presented. Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Ch. Akhtar Rasool, Member Assembly Naseer Bhutta, Saiful Malook, Ijaz Ahmad Khan and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N Rana Akram Rabani were also present on the occasion. Former Olympians and the youth who set records in Punjab Youth Festival for Guinness Book were also present on the occasion.