Pakistan among 22 venues selected for torch tour
ISLAMABAD: The Olympic torch will come to Pakistan for the first time this year, the country’s Games chief said on Monday, despite a wave of Islamist violence and deteriorating security.
The torch will come to the capital Islamabad in April, Pakistan Olympic Association president Syed Arif Hasan told reporters.
“We are privileged to announce that Islamabad is among the 22 venues selected for the Olympic torch tour ahead of the Beijing Olympics in our brother country of China,” Syed Arif told reporters.
The torch will arrive early on April 16 and be taken on a round of the city, Syed Arif said.
“Through this visit we want to project that ours is a peace-loving and sports-loving country,” said Syed Arif.
Pakistan has won three Olympic gold medals in field hockey. Their other two medals – both bronze – were won in wrestling in the 1960 Rome Olympics and in boxing in Seoul in 1988.
But the country has been wracked by political instability and violence blamed on Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, which has jeopardised sports events here in the past.
Last year, the International Hockey Federation moved the Champions Trophy from Pakistan after several major teams pulled out citing security fears. – AFP