LAHORE, Aug 6: The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has desperately attempted to make contact with the foreign office to help send Pakistan contingent in the 20th Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Glasgow in 2014.
The PSB contacted the foreign office despite being well aware of the fact that no government office can ensure participation of any athlete in any sports extravaganza being held under the charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) except for the National Olympic Committee of that country which in case of Pakistan is the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) headed by Arif Hasan.
According to well-informed sources, the PSB made the contact with the foreign office after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) received ‘the expression of interest’ from the Arif-led POA recognised by the IOC.
The POA is to submit the PHF’s ‘expression of interest’ to the organisers of the Commonwealth Games till July 29 a deadline which the POA has now extended until Aug 15.
But the PHF is keen to get permission from the PSB before giving ‘the expression of interest’ to the POA.
However, the PSB which does not recognise Arif-led POA and has also formed a parallel body of the POA headed by Akram Sahi, decided to make a try through foreign office instead of the Arif-led POA.
The sources also said that due to the same tussle with the Arif-led POA, the PSB also attempted on several occasions to send the contingent through foreign office but to no avail.
Sending contingents through the POA is mandatory as once the outgoing president of Pakistan at the eleventh hour expressed desire of watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics for which the government contacted its Chinese counterpart who advised him to contact the POA which the government did.
In just two days time, the POA got accreditation cards for the entire delegation of the president to ensure their presence in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
The foreign office and the PSB are well aware of the Beijing Olympics incident, but the PSB is adopting a wrong way.
It is important to be noted that the PSB has not been recognising Arif as POA president, citing a decision of the Supreme Court given in a case of restricting tenure of president, secretary and treasurer of the national sports federations to two terms only.
But in its decision, the Supreme Court has said the POA is not affected by this decision but the PSB insists the decision is also binding on the POA. Taking advantage of the Supreme Court decision, Arif is still working as POA president but the PSB instead of filing an appeal against him (Arif) had formed an interim committee of the POA headed by Asif Bajwa, then president of the Pakistan Basketball Federation.
Moreover, Asif Bajwa filed an appeal against Arif as POA president but the court endorsed the point of view of Arif and imposed a fine on Asif for misguiding the court.
Later on, the International Basketball Federation suspended Pakistan membership owing to Asif’s activities against the IOC Charter.