ISLAMABAD - IOC-backed Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan termed his meeting with Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Pirzada as very constructive and cordial. In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Thursday, Gen Arif said: “There were a lot of misunderstandings prior to this meeting, but let me admit that the entire meeting helped clear the air and misperceptions were almost settled.” “I have invited the minister to visit POA and have a detailed meeting with the POA family which Riaz agreed in principal and we have also written an official invitation to him. The dates and other issues will be sorted out soon,” he said. “On the directives of Supreme Court, we have convened the POA general council meeting on August 3 to discuss in detail the current situation surrounding the country and we will reach a concluding point during the meeting.
Our cases are pending in different courts so I will not comment any further on that,” he added. When this scribe asked Gen Arif the steps of interim committee had almost invited a sure shot International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban on Pakistan, he replied: “I will try my best to request the IOC not to ban Pakistan, but Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)’s interference in POA affairs will surely compel the international Olympic body to ban Pakistan the ultimate result of which will be disaster for Pakistan athletes, who want to compete at international stage and want to showcase their skills.”
He said people had to understand everybody had their own rules and regulations. “Suppose if the IOC decides to impose ban on Pakistan because of persistent government interference, then it will not spell end of the IOC or their authority, it will be disastrous for Pakistan, as when someone decides to join a body, they have to follow their rules instead of trying to implement their own,” he said and added: “The IOC neither accepts so-called interim committee nor they have anything to do with the bogus elections drama staged a few days back in Islamabad.”
Gen Arif said: “I don't need to comment on that keeping in mind the fact, the so-called unholy alliance of Gen Sahi and Qasim Zia is over, ‘the love affair’ didn't last long as the right hand of Gen Sahi Olympian Rana Mujahid has termed the entire election process as bogus and fake and all the so-called federations brought by PSB/interim committee for election drama proved to be a big flop as described by Rana Mujahid. That was the reason he refused to be the part of the fraudulent elections and all their efforts failed to lure Rana despite offering him countless incentives.
They were just gathered for reaping all the benefits and they have nothing to do with sports or the country. They had contested elections against me and lost with a massive margin and after left with no other option, they started these dirty tricks which will not harm Gen Arif or my aides, but it will spell disaster for the country at international level and ruin the careers of talented and future medal hopes of the country.” “Government must now wake up from the deep slump and should take action against these violators, who have just one agenda of grabbing the sports federations’ top slots no matter what happens to Pakistan sports and athletes. Any further delay on part of the government will further tarnish the reputation of the country. I want to concentrate on ways and means how to improve the fast declining sports fortunes of the country rather than wasting time