Tayyab, Shahid not considered for civil award

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan’s top squash player Tayyab Aslam and former world number 14 Shahid Zaman have not been considered for any civil award this year.

It has been learnt that both the players tried their best and used contacts to get a civil award from the government but they failed to get any consideration. “Tayyab tried different sources and used his influence for a civil award. Similarly, a former squash world champion also used his influence for Shahid,” said a source.

President Dr Arif Alvi, on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day (August 14), conferred 126 civil awards on citizens of Pakistan as well as foreign nationals for showing excellence and courage in their respective fields.

According to the rules, recommendations for Pakistan Civil Awards are invited by the Cabinet Division in December every year from all ministries, divisions and provincial governments. The sports personalities who got civil awards (pride of performance) this year were M Ali Sadpara (late) from Gilgit Baltistan for mountaineering, Nargis Hameedullah Hazara from Balochistan for karate, and Shehzada Sikandar ul Mulk from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for polo.

The award committee one again ignored Maqsood Ahmed, who was the first Pakistani to become the world amateur champion in 1977 by defeating his brother M Saleem in the final of the ISRF World Amateur Individual Championship (Men).

Maqsood has not been given any civil award by any federal or provincial governments despite his marvelous achievements.

It is pertinent to mention here that so far 16 squash players have received different awards from the federal government on their achievements. Nine of them got Pride of Performance, two received Sitara-e-Imtiaz, two Hilal-e-Imtiaz, two Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, and one Tamgha-e-Quaid-e-Azam.

“Every government has ignored me,” said Maqsood while talking to ‘The News’. “I have many times raised this issue but to no avail. Even the government of Sindh never bothered to consider me for any award,” he said.

He added that the criterion of conferring awards on athletes of the country with high achievements was beyond his comprehension. “Pakistan’s magnificent squash history is incomplete without me. I deserve Pride of Performance at least,” said Maqsood. In February 1995, Jahangir Khan recommended to the government to give the Pride of Performance Award to Maqsood.