ISLAMABAD-International Judo Federation (IJF) executive body member Gerard Benone termed Pakistan very beautiful and sports-loving country saying he would love to visit the country again.

In an interview with The Nation, Gerard, who arrived Pakistan as observer to monitor Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) elections and general council meeting, said: “I have been to Islamabad for two days and frankly speaking, the hospitality and beauty of Pakistan really impressed me a lot. The Pakistan Judo Federation has been doing great job and implementing the IJF rules and regulations in true letter and spirit. They have 20 percent female participation in the federation, which is rarely witnessed even in the advanced countries.”

He said: “I have witnessed the entire election process and I am completely satisfied with the arrangements and let me assure that as observer, it is my duty to keep a close eye on the happenings and I will prepare a detailed report regarding elections and overall issues which according to me is very positive.”

To a query regarding suggesting the international body to allocate some internationals event to Pakistan, Gerard replied: “I have limited access as you know I came here as only observer, but definitely, I will submit my report and will recommend that Pakistan should be considered for international events as hosts, as they have very good players.”

When asked under exchange programmes with other countries in which Pakistani players may be invited and trained aboard and even send some well-reputed coach to Pakistan to help the country produce top quality players and coaches, Gerard said: “It is not in my domain, but I will mention that too in my report.”

About his visit to Pakistan, Gerard said: “I wish I could visit all places in Pakistan, but I am leaving the country from Islamabad in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Next time, I want to visit different cities and places the country. Off course, things are not same, which we hear and a lot of negativity is spread regarding security concerns in Pakistan, but actually reality is quite different. I got tremendous love and respect by Pakistan judo community.”

“I have worked as an observer in Pan-America too and it is my third assignment, but the first one as full-fledged observer. The PJF is highly up-to-date federation as far as international rules and regulations are concerned. I am fully satisfied and will mention all this in my report,” Gerard concluded.