LAHORE: Amir Khan, the British boxer of Pakistan origin, announced on Sunday that he will set up a boxing academy in Pakistan.
Amir arrived in the country on Wednesday to lend his support to the victims of Peshawar school massacre on Dec 16 that left 152 people, including children, dead.
On a visit to the Data Darbar on Sunday where he laid floral wreath on the grave of Sufi saint Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery and offered prayers for victims of Peshawar massacre, Amir urged the government to eliminate terrorism by promoting education and sports among Pakistani youths.
“There is so much boxing talent in Pakistan,” he told reporters. “I have a desire to build a boxing academy here to discover this talent and impart training of international standard.”
Amir said he had come to Pakistan to show the world that the country is not a dangerous place but a peaceful land. “Pakistan is a safe and peaceful country … We all should be good Muslims,” he said.
The former world light welterweight champion and Olympic silver medalist said he would also visit Peshawar to meet the families of the attack victims.
“What took place in Peshawar is absolutely horrific and sickening,” the WBC welterweight world champion added. “After recently becoming a father myself, I can’t imagine how the families of these innocent children are feeling.”
Earlier on Sunday, Amir held a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed ways to promote sports in the province. He appreciated Shahbaz’s efforts for promotion of sports, expressing his willingness to play his role in this regard.
“Amir Khan has earned a lot of fame and respect in the field of boxing,” Shahbaz said. “Promoting sports in the country is key to fighting terrorism that has engulfed Pakistan.”
Shahbaz also assured Amir that every drop of blood shed during the attack on the Army Public School would be avenged.
On Wednesday, Amir had confirmed his plans to hold an auction for a $45,000 pair of shorts to raise money to help rebuild the school.
Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2014