Pak contingent keen to don traditional attire

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Chef-de-Mission Aqil Shah said he has been trying to convince the organisers of the London Games to allow the country`s contingent to wear the traditional `shalwar kameez` for the opening ceremony and not the western attire sent by them.

Shah said he has been in constant touch with the organisers on this issue for the past five days and is not pleased with the proceedings.

"We want to show our culture – just like all the other the countries – and not England`s culture, which is why I`m adamant that our players will only wear shalwar kameez," Shah told Pakistani newspaper `The Express Tribune`.

"The organisers need to understand that Pakistan`s 39-member contingent is in London as the country`s ambassadors and should portray its culture and values. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these athletes and they should be allowed to show what they are," he added.

Shah said he has briefed the contingent on maintaining discipline at the opening ceremony as he did not want any mishap that could lead to embarrassment.

"All the athletes are in good shape and the camp is bright despite media reports about a fake passport scam linked to the country`s Olympic team. It is unfortunate that such a report was published to distract our athletes, but I can confirm that everybody is focused on the job ahead," Shah said.

Pakistan hockey captain Sohail Abbas, the world record holder for the most number of goals, will be the country`s flag bearer at the opening ceremony later Friday.