Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Gold Cup Hockey Tournament organized by Pakistan Hockey Federation under the auspices of Pakistan Sports Board in collaboration with Islamabad Hockey Association at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad from 15th to 24th October, 2009. Mr. Leandro Negre, President, International Hockey Federation (FIH) inaugurated the Tournament.
The artists performed dance, featuring all tour provinces of Pakistan. Clad in traditional dresses, they presented Sindhi dance Jhumer, NWFP’s Khattak dance, Punjab’s bhangra and Balochi dance in front of spectators who thronged the stadium to have a glimpse of the spectacle.
Mr. Negre vowed to revive international hockey in Pakistan saying he was determined to bring back international events here. “Pakistan has a fantastic history in hockey and it fully deserves to hold international events. Pakistan has always made significant contributions in the field of hockey and the FIH would help it hold international tournaments soon”. He said Pakistan had earned a great name in hockey and he believed that it had a great potential to make more input in future also. Lauding efforts of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for organizing Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Gold Cup Hockey Tournaments, he said the tournament would help pave the way for international events. Mr. Negre was accompanied by Mr. David Balbirnie, Secretary General, FIH. Mr. Qasim Zia, President, PHF thanked Mr. Negre and Mr. David for visiting Pakistan particularly attending the inaugural ceremony of the tournament. He said he was sure that with the efforts of Pakistan Government, the FIH and the PHF international events would soon return to Pakistan.
Federal Minister for Sports Pir Aftab Hussain Jilani said by attending the inaugural ceremony the FIH president had proved how sincere he was in revitalizing international hockey in Pakistan. “Mr. Negre’s visit augurs well for Pakistan and I am sure it will help boost our people’s moral and encourage them,” he remarked.