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Javed Afridi presents the PSL winner’s trophy to KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in Peshawar on Sunday. —APP
Javed Afridi presents the PSL winner’s trophy to KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in Peshawar on Sunday. —APP

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Adviser to Prime Minister Eng Amir Muqam have said that participation of foreign players in Pakistan Super League final in Lahore is a good sign for the soft image of the country.

These views were expressed by the governor and the adviser to prime minister during two different receptions held in the honour of Peshawar Zalmi team, by its owner Javed Afridi, at Governor’s House and at the residence of Mr Muqam here on Sunday.

The governor said that holding successful final of PSL in Lahore would revive sports activities in the country. He said that by bringing PSL back to Pakistan, the organisers not only won the hearts of the people but also united the nation.

The governor said that promotion of sports would help in restoration of peace. He said that government was encouraging sports in Fata. He said that government was setting up playgrounds that would improve global image of the country.

Mr Jhagra hinted at formation of a cricket team of Fata for the next PSL tournament so that local players could get a chance to align their skills with international players.

Besides others, Amir Muqam, acting IGP Akhtar Ali shah, FC Commandant Liaquat Khan, MPA Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota, Fata parliamentarians Shahjee Gul Afridi, Ghalib Khan and Nazeer Khan and Commissioner Fakhr-i-Alam were also present on the occasion. Shields and gifts were also exchanged on the occasion.

The governor lauded army and law enforcement agencies for ensuring success of the event. “As a nation we have proven to the world that we are no more isolated and militancy has been defeated. It is not only the victory of Peshawar Zalmi but also that of Pakistan. This victory will ultimately help in reviving international cricket in the country,” he added.

Mr Jhagra said that foreign cricketers should be encouraged to play in Pakistan. The governor presented an honorary shield and a traditional turban to Javed Afridi. Mr Afridi also gave a trophy to the governor on behalf of Peshawar Zalmi team.

Later, Mr Muqam hosted a lunch in honour of the team members at his residence in Peshawar Cantonment. He said that holding of PSL final in Lahore was an honour for the whole country. He said that holding a successful final match at the home ground manifested that Pakistanis were peace-loving people, who wanted to defeat terrorism.

Mr Muqam appreciated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and law enforcement agencies for taking effective steps to make the event a success. He said that efforts made by the players and organisers earned Pakistan a good name at global level and presented a soft image of the country.

The PML-N leader said that the players, who could not come to Peshawar owing to different reasons, would be invited again. He said that such matches should be played in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking on the occasion, Javed Afridi thanked Amir Muqam, other PML-N leaders, parliamentarians and people of the country, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, for showing love for the team.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017