Pak-Iran Sports Friendship
Peshawar Red and Senior Chamkani XI clinched the trophies of the Kabaddi and Zurkhaneh titles after defeating Peshawar Green and Junior XI team in the matches held in connection with the 40th Anniversary of the Victory of Islamic Revolution Day (National Day) of Iran here at Lala Rafique Sports Arena on Tuesday.
Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr. Muhammad Bagher Beigi was the chief guest on this occasion. Member Provincial Assembly Fazal Elahi Khan, who is also President of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Sports and Culture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, former Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah, former MPA Arif Yousaf, members of the Consulate General Peshawar, Additional Director Youth Aziz Ullah Jan, Director Sports Merged Districts Nawaz Khan, Secretary KP Olympic Association Zulfiqar Butt, Imtiaz Ali, President KP Kabaddi Association Arbab Naseer, international technical official Syed Sultab Bari Shah, players and large number of spectators were also present. The Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Peshawar organized both Kabaddi and traditional Zurkhaneh (Pahlevani) and zourkhaneh.
In the event, the demonstration of traditional Zulkhaneh (Pahlevani) was played wherein teams comprising Senior Chamkani XI and Akbar Pura XI took part under the aegis of Pakistan Zurkhaneh Federation and KP Zurkhaneh Association.
Zulkhaneh is a traditional century old game wherein athletics originally used to train warriors in Iran and adjacent lands. Outside Iran, zurkhanehs can be found in Azerbaijan, and they were introduced into Iraq in the mid-19th century, where they seem to have existed until the 1980s.
Traditional Iranian wrestling (koshti) dates back to ancient Persia and was said to have been practiced by Rustam, mythological Iranian hero of the Shahnameh epic. While folk styles were practiced for sport by every ethnic group in various provinces, grappling for combat was considered the particular specialty of the zourkhaneh.
Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 the tradition lost some of its popularity as the new regime discouraged anything tied to pre-Islamic paganism. This did not last, however, as the Islamic Republic eventually promoted varzesh-e bastani as a symbol of Iranian pride and culture. Today, varzesh-e pahlavani is touted as the reason why Iranians are regular winners at international wrestling and weight-lifting events.
In the Kabaddi event the Peshawar Red team defeated Peshawar Green by 52-48 in the Asian Styles Kabaddi played inside the Lala Rafique Sports Arena along with traditional Zurkhaneh game. The match produced great thrill for the jam-packed indoor hall wherein the players of Peshawar Red and Peshawar Green exhibited superb display of gripping and kabaddi skills.
Speaking on this occasion, Consul General Mr. Muhammad Bagher Beigi lauded the organizers of the two events in connection with the National Day of Iran. He said with like activities it would bring joys for the youth besides helping the youth to have good physically and mentally.
He said, Pakistan and Iran have no option other than to work together even in the field of Sports, Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs and we are giving due value to the proposed bilateral Football Series somewhere in April.
He said, through exchanges of teams of various sporting event, youth exchange program and exploring each other tourism potential on a much better way. “Our strategic interest is to cooperate and expand cooperation,” he added.
He expressed the hope that there is no dearth of sports talent in Pakistan and to polish that talent playing against each other would certainly benefit the youth of both Pakistan and Iran at one hand and on the other hand it would help in cementing our bilateral relationship.
He disclosed that he has discussed Pakistan-Iran Football Series in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan and Senior Minister for Sports, Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan.
“Soon we will see Pakistan and Iran football teams in action in KP. I rest assured you that all appropriate measures would be taken to facilitate the visiting Pakistan team to Iran and hopefully Iran football team would gain much out of their visit to KP,” he concluded.
At the end, Mr. Muhammad Bagher Beigi gave away trophies and cash prizes of Rs. 6000 and Rs. 4000 to the winners and runners of both Kabaddi and Zulkhaneh.
Pak-Iran Sports Friendship