The member countries are; Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives. During a meeting in West Germany in 1981 it was decided that the SAF Games would be hosted annually by one of the members. The Motto of the federation is Peace - Perseverance - Progress.
The first SAF Games were held in Katmandu (Nepal) in 1984, followed by games at Dhaka (Bangladesh) in 1985 and in Calcutta (India) in 1987. This year Pakistan is to host the 4th SAF Games at Islamabad.
The eight-day SAF Games are scheduled to be held from 20th to 27th October, 1989. Ten disciplines ie Athletics, Boxing, Football, Squash, Kabadi (Asia Style), Table Tennis, Swimming, Weightlifting, Volleyball and Wrestling are being contested. Never before has such an event involving so many disciplines, been held in Pakistan. The unique honour, has come at a time when Pakistan is back in the democratic era.
Squash, in which Pakistan occupies a unique international position has been included for the very first time. Due recognition given to squash in the SAF games may help it’s inclusion in future at the Asian and Olympic level. Over a 1000 sportsmen and sports women will vie for top honours. Pakistan is fielding the maximum participants and is contesting all disciplines.
Holding of the SAF games is a gigantic task and Pakistan has accepted the challenge with full confidence, hoping to make it the finest of all the games held yet. Besides cultural shows, exhibitions and other activities, colourful opening and closing ceremonies have also been planned.
Contributed by South Asia Sports Federation Islamabad.
To commemorate the 4th SAF Games Islamabad, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of Re 1 denomination on October 20, 1989.