PESHAWAR -- Pakistan's 33rd National Games kicked off Sunday (November 10) in Peshawar amid tight security.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan inaugurated the games, set to run through November 16, during a colourful ceremony at the Peshawar Sports Complex.
The games are being held in Peshawar for the first time since 2010, Khan noted.
Police, along with other agencies, have laid out a comprehensive security plan for the games.
"The games are being held here in Peshawar after a long time as the law-and-order situation has improved to a great extent," said Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Karim Khan.
About 4,700 police officers are performing their duties in and outside five different stadiums, he added.
"Before the event, we completed the security audit for the games and chalked out a comprehensive security plan for the National Games," said Khan, adding that police conducted search-and-strike operations near the stadiums to ensure security.
"Apart from policemen and policewomen, the commandos of the Special Combat Unit are being deployed during the games to maintain law and order," he said. Traffic police wardens will ensure the smooth flow on the main roads around the stadiums.
"We have strengthened security at 40 entry points across the provincial capital during the National Games," said KP Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zahoor Babar Afridi.
Police beefed up security at hotels and other stadiums, he said, adding that they have a special control room at the Peshawar Sports Complex.
"The nation is in for a treat as KP gets to host the National Games after nine years and is committed to making these the most memorable games ever," Kamran Khan Bangash, a member of the KP cabinet, tweeted after attending the event's torch ceremony.
"The National Games are the biggest sporting event in the country, in which around 10,000 male and female players participate in 32 different sports," said Kashif Uddin, the spokesman for the games.
A large number of male and female players from different cities of the country have already arrived in Peshawar, he said.
"Peshawar could not host the event in the last nine years because of the law-and-order situation, but now peace has returned and sports activities are back in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," said Uddin.