Mr Syed Shahid Ali, IOC Member in Pakistan, President Punjab Olympic Association and Chairman Organising Committee, Mr Iftikhar Malik, Senior Vice President PbOA, Idris Haider Khawaja, secretary general PbOA and secretary generals of of all National Federations, distinguished members of the Olympic Family, Honourable members of the media, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen… Welcome to the Games.
The City where the Olympic Movement in the sub- continent was born is today hosting the Games again. It was in 1924, in the capital of undivided Punjab, Lahore to be precise, that the Sub-Continent chapter of the Olympic movement was born. The same year, the sub-continent's first Olympic Games, now known as the National Games, were organised in Lahore.
Pakistan National Games are the most prestigious event of our National Sports Calendar, which are organized under the aegis of Pakistan Olympic Association bi-annually in rotation in collaboration with the respective Provincial Olympic Associations and Provincial Governments. In these Games all the affiliated units of Pakistan Olympic Association take part.
With the anniversary of our Quaid just a few days away I would like to talk today about the legacy that the Quaid left for us in Sports. The father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had a great love for sports and fully released the vital role it played in the development of Nations and inculcation of discipline among the masses.
In a meeting with the Organizing Committee of the First Pakistan Olympic Games held at Karachi the Quaid-i-Azam said to the first President of Pakistan Olympic Association Mr. Ahmed E.H. Jaffar: "Dedicate yourself to sports promotion, for when you and I are gone, leadership will go into the hands of Youth, and Youth is our wealth, a raw material, that must be hammered into shape, into burnished steel to strive and smite in defence – the defence of the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan – the defence of the ideology of Pakistan."
Quaid-i-Azam's philosophy about Pakistan Youth, is expressed most forcefully in a letter he sent to the late Mr. M. A. Khaliq, the Organizing Secretary of the First Pakistan Olympic Games.
"Well, we have crossed hurdles and breasted the tape at the 'Wining Post', this the people say in smugness. I maintain that we have only run the first lap of marathon relay race. I have passed the baton to others to dash on from lap to lap, determined and dedicated, united and disciplined, with faith in themselves and God.
“Your race to destiny, shall be calculatingly cluttered with obstacles, and if you have Unity, Faith and Discipline, nothing will ever stop you from becoming sturdy and strong. Strength alone is an effective deterrent to aggression.
“Build leadership on the play fields, and try to become good followers. Remember no one can ever command, who does not learn how to obey. Be a builder. Build for others.”
On April 23, 1948 our beloved Father of the Nation and first Governor General of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah drove-in-state to declare the Games open. He donated a "Challenge Shield" from his private funds. The trophy is now named as the "Quaid-i-Azam Trophy" and is awarded to the winner team in every edition of the Games.
The Quaid gave the following message on the occasion: "For sound minds we should have sound bodies and that is why nations the world over attach so much importance to bodybuilding and physical culture, The Pakistan Olympic Games should set an incentive to all Pakistan Nationals to emulate the Olympic Motto "CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS" i.e. "FASTER, HIGHER AND STRONGER.
“I wish the organizers of the Games and all competitors of the Games and all competitors the best luck, Build up Pakistan Higher, Firmer and Strong".
This then is the legacy of our Quaid.
That inaugural year the overall championship was won by the Punjab contingent.
This year the Punjab administration has chosen ‘to calculatingly clutter with obstacles’ the path of the National Games.
But with Quaid and his words as our beacon, from this trial Pakistan’s Olympic Movement shall emerge stronger, self-reliant and infinitely better.
(The above is attributed to Wikipedia and PSB Web site; ironic that the PSB have it on the web site but do not follow the spirit behind it)