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‘Army will continue to support young talent’, Gen Munir tells squash champion Hamza Khan



Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir meets World Junior Squash Champion Mohammad Hamza Khan in Rawalpindi on August 4, 2023. — ISPR
  • COAS Gen Munir meets Squash Champion Hamza Khan.
  • Hails rising squash star Hamza for bringing honour to Pakistan. 
  • “Our youth is the future of this country,” says the army chief. 

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir on Friday congratulated World Junior Squash Champion Mohammad Hamza Khan for his outstanding achievement and for bringing honour to the country, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

According to the military’s media wing, the army chief made the remarks during a meeting with Hamza at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Talking to the young champion, Gen Asim remarked: “Talents like you make us all proud and your great achievement also underscores the great potential that this nation has.”

“Army will continue to support the young talent in the country and promised to provide him full support in academic pursuit and sports,” he added.  

Our youth, Gen Munir further said, is the future of this country and with focus, dedication and “hard work there is nothing that Pakistan cannot accomplish”.

PM Shehbaz awards Rs10m to Hamza

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif awarded Rs10 million to Hamza Khan.

The premier also praised the world champion’s efforts and hard work he put in to bring the laurels to the country. “Hamza won the junior title following a 37-year gap. The nation is proud of him. We hope and pray for his future success,” he added.

The PM added that squash required stamina and endurance. “I also played the game in my youth. It is one of the toughest games and requires extraordinary skills.”

He also hoped to see Hamza winning the senior title and becoming the world No 1 in days to come. Hamza thanked the prime minister for his support and encouragement. “I will make all possible efforts to earn a name for the country at the senior circuit.”

Pakistan wins Squash Championship after 37 years

On July 23, Hamza Khan beat Egypt’s Mohamed Zakaria in the World Junior Squash Championship in Melbourne, ending nearly a four decades trophy drought.

Pakistan returned to the world squash podium with Hamza’s comeback against Zakaria in a 3-1 victory. 

This was Pakistan’s first World Junior Squash title in 37 years, as the last Pakistani to lift this trophy was Jansher Khan, who won the title in 1986.

The final between Hamza and Zakaria started off in an exciting manner with two back-to-back games, ending up in tiebreakers. However, Hamza convincingly took the following two games to complete a 3-1 win.

Meanwhile, Zakaria took the lead in the second game, which lasted for 26 minutes with a score of 12-10.

It was another thrilling encounter as the Pakistani was down 8-10 but denied the Egyptian the much-needed game point twice and levelled the match with a 14-12 win.

The next two games were a total contradiction to what everyone witnessed in the first two games. Hamza won the third game without much resistance in just 6 minutes with a score of 11-3, before finally winning the 4th with a score of 11-6.

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