ISLAMABAD: Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage while speaking at the launching ceremony of PTV Sports programmes said that journey for revival of film, music and sports had started with marked improvement in security situation of the country. The journey was difficult but thankfully it had begun. She said that Pakistan had been facing the scourge of terrorism for the last 25 years and during this period not only film, music, art and culture suffered but sports fields also presented a deserted look. By the grace of Allah, she said the peace had returned to the country due to the steps taken under the vision of former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, efforts and cooperation of provisional governments and unmatched sacrifices of armed forces, police and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan. She said that playgrounds of country had been settled up again and Government was further taking concrete measures to encourage and promote sports activities in Pakistan. She said that sports activities bestow unswerving resolve and develop resilience to go through difficulties and confront challenges. “Sports legends were the real face and identity of Pakistan and we were proud of our stars in hockey and all other games” the minister said. She called upon sports super stars to come forward and play their role in promoting the positive image of the country as Pakistan was fighting a war of perception. The minister said that it was a matter of great privilege to be amongst the galaxy of sports heroes adding that a generation had grown up while watching these sports idols ruling the world in their respective arenas. The minister said the credit for revitalization of sports in the country also goes to Pakistan Television which was changing in terms of its content and quality. She acknowledged efforts of Secretary Information Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera and his team for making PTV Sports channel a trend setter and a brand name. She also acclaimed the role of national TV in combating the tendency of intolerance in the country. While dilating upon her plan of restructuring and revamping Pakistan Television Corporation, she said that the sports programming was being enhanced with a view to involve different communities and engage youth in every nook and cranny of the country in sports activities. The aim was not just to broadcast sports programmes for youth but the real idea behind was to bring a change in mindset and attitudes. The minister of state informed the audience that the PTV Sports will broadcast 11 new specialized sports programs and variety of games including squash, cricket, football, hockey, tennis, women sports as well as programs on fitness and nutrition. Marriyum Aurangzeb also emphasized the need to put children in sports as it would help them grow to more calm, positive and tolerant individuals. She said that PTV had always encouraged programs on women sports and would further extend live broadcast of sports events to be held within and foreign countries. She thanked corporate sector heads for attending the event, saying no government can deliver on its own and the corporate sector had to play its role in sponsoring sports events. Published in Daily Times, March 7th 2018.