The 30-year-old from Lahore has captured the public imagination with his stunning exploits at the US Open where he featured in the men's doubles and mixed doubles finals earlier this month.
He received a red-carpet welcome in Lahore on his return home earlier this week and was hailed as a national hero across the country, which is still trying to come to terms with an embarrassing betting scandal involving some of their top cricket stars.
He may still be basking in the glory of his US Open success, but Aisam is fully aware that to become a sporting legend in a country that has produced the likes of World Cup-winning cricket captain Imran Khan and squash hero Jahangir Khan, he has to win a Grand Slam crown before he says goodbye to competitive tennis.
That maiden Grand Slam crown, Pakistan's tennis star believes, can come as soon as next year.
"At the moment I'm not really thinking about winning a Grand Slam title," Aisam told 'The News' in an interview on Friday.
"I'm looking forward to a number of international assignments over the next three, four months and want to do well in them before beginning my Grand Slam campaign next year," he added.
But deep inside, Aisam can't wait to get into action at the Australian Open next year January - the year's opening Grand Slam event.
Can he and his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna go all the way at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne where the 2011 Australian Open will take place from January 17-30?
"Off course we can. Our game is going up. We played really well as a team all of this year and especially at the US Open. I'm confident that we have it in us to win a Grand Slam next year," he said.
Aisam and Bopanna have had an excellent year so far, catapulting themselves to a career-high number six ranking as a doubles team following their defeat in the US Open final to USA's Bryan brothers.
They began 2010 with a title-winning triumph in Johannesburg and then reached a couple of finals on clay in Nice and Casablanca but the high point for them as a team, before the US Open final, came at the Wimbledon where they featured in the quarterfinals. Later they shined in the hardcourt season reaching the final and semifinal in New Haven and Washington.
The Pakistan-India partnership, according to Aisam, finds itself comfortable on all sorts of surfaces.
"We are doing well on grass, clay or hard courts and that's a really good thing," said Aisam, who is now setting his sights on winning a medal for Pakistan at next month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Aisam will team up with Aqeel Khan - his long-time Davis Cup partner - for the Commonwealth Games and is hoping to do well in New Delhi.
"For me, playing for Pakistan is the highest honour and I will try to give my best for my country in the Commonwealth Games."
But Aisam might have to miss the Asian Games - penciled in for this December in Guangzhou (China) - as the quadrennial spectacle will clash with the year-end Masters championship.
Aisam and Bopanna have to finish among the top-eight doubles pairings to qualify for the prestigious event. On current form, they appear to be in a good position to do that.
"The year-end Masters is a huge event for us. Only the top eight from the whole world compete in the event, which is why we are going to give our best to qualify for it," he said.
Aisam will be featuring in a series of international assignments including the Shanghai Masters and Paris Indoors championship before the Masters.
He hopes to carry on with Bopanna, whom he describes as his best friend on the tour, in the coming years.
"Rohan is my best friend on the tour. We enjoy playing together and that's reflecting in our results," he said.
Aisam and Bopanna are partnering each other at a time when relations between Pakistan and India are pretty tense.
Does that affect their friendship?
"No it doesn't," said Aisam. "When Pakistan and India are playing each other I support Pakistan and he (Bopanna) is backing India. It's quite natural."
"We may be partners but there is still room for some professional rivalry. Even next month I might be playing against Rohan in New Delhi in the Commonwealth Games and the rivalry will be there. But it doesn't affect our relationship as friends and doubles partners."
Aisam, who won a lot of hearts with his touching speech after the US Open final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, said he would continue to spread the message of peace wherever he plays.
"I feel that it's my duty to spread the message that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and I'll continue doing it," he signed off.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
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A young Pakistani journalist bonds with the Indians she meets on an exchange programme
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Page 21 of 177
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw