Kushti, an Indo-Pakistani form of mud wrestling, is several thousand years old and a sport that Pakistan excelled at. The muddy 'akharas' (courts) served as the supply line which provided many a big name to the national setup.

From 1954 to 1970, Pakistan won 18 wrestling gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, five at the Asian Games and a Bronze in the 1960 Olympics.

There was a gold at the Asian Games in 1986 and two in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but apart from that, international victories have all but dried up. Rings that once thronged with thousands of spectators are now silent as fewer people as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions, sport’s coaches say. There also those who still believe and sweat it out everyday to keep the traditional form alive. -Photos by AP

Read feature here: The fading glory of kushti in Pakistan


Comments (9) Closed

Feb 27, 2013 09:03am
Good to see old Hindu tradition of Malla Yudha or Pehlwan being kept alive in Pakistan.
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Agha Ata (USA)
Feb 26, 2013 07:14pm
Please don't keep the tradition alive, keep the art of wrestling alive. There is a big difference, if you think about it. Thank you.
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Feb 27, 2013 03:55pm
very soon someone will issue a fatwa calling it unislamic etc etc.
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Feb 26, 2013 10:14pm
Nudity :)
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Julie C
Feb 26, 2013 07:57pm
They should start by dressing up.
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naseer ahmad
Feb 27, 2013 01:40pm
they need more ghee
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naseer ahmad
Feb 27, 2013 01:38pm
why are they so weak even the average uk man is stronger looking than these palhwans
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AKA Joly
Feb 27, 2013 09:23pm
please keep your pathetic comment to yourself.
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K G Surendran
Feb 28, 2013 07:38am
They should be supported by society and government. Well done guys! Keep up the hard work>
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