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Is PSB really promoting sports in Pakistan? Back To Main


the National Press

From Abdul Mohl Shah

ISLAMABAD: There is a big question mark over the utility and contribution of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) in national sports. With the powers, base and structure as big as the PSB has got, it could easily play a significant role in promoting national sports cause as well as establishing a formidable base where the fun-starved youth of the country finds a direction to work on.
Sadly that has never been a case and no serious effort has ever been made in the recent past to make the body more result-oriented. All these years the PSB has made the headlines for wrong purposes rather than the reason it is established for. It is possibly the only government owned organisation where there are two Director Generals, having more or less the same functions and responsibilities.
It all depends as which of the DGs has closer connections with the corridors of powers.
When the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was in power, Akhtasr Nawaz Ganjera was calling shots. Once Yousaf Raza left the PM House, the other DG PSB Ameer Hamza Gilani took over.
With the help of Ministry of IPC, he had virtually been running the show these days in PSB.
All these years, because of the presence of two DGs, the Board had become the centre of politics. Those running the show at the PSB has almost forgot that the main purpose of the establishment of the Board in 1962 was to help evolve a system in anywhere in Pakistan where the youth could be guided towards honing his skills and to take the sports infrastructure to every nook and corner of the country. With the help and assistance of federations and other sports bodies raising Pakistan’s sports image abroad has also been one of the PSB duties. All these bickering, leg pulling, political interference have virtually rendered the sports body useless.
While there is still a need and requirement for providing further sports facilities to the youth of the country, even the year 2012-13 sees a good amount of development funds getting lapsed as no real efforts on the part of PSB think-tank was taken to make the best use of available funds? Barring few early years when late Brig Rodham was at of the helm of the affairs and in between when the late PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto showed immense interest in promoting sports, the PSB's contribution has been far from satisfactory. The Board that has almost 1000 officers and workers at its disposal lost the ways and means to justify its utility. A visit to the PSB offices anywhere in the jurisdiction of Pakistan Sports Complex reveals that there is no dearth of Grade 18 and Grade-19 officers, what is missing is the vision, approach and that passion that makes any such body result-oriented.
No nation can earn respect raising Pakistan sports image abroad without projecting its soft image, and there is no better mode than to see the country making headway on the sports front. With the new government in power, one hopes that efforts would be made to make PSB a result oriented body, the one that springs out ideas to spot talent, help that talent polish its skills and above all provide consistent backing and support to the youth to keep their interest alive in Olympic sports. With vibrant and practical leadership achieving such goals is always possible.
The above article appeared in The News International on July 17, 2013.

The POA has reproduced it on its web site courtesy the leading daily national newspaper with the purpose of familiarizing the sporting fraternity and everyone interested in Pakistan and Olympic Movement in the country on how the premier government institution is conducting itself.