Pakistan again seems to be on the verge of plunging into another sports crisis as this time around the country won’t be able to appropriately welcome the Queen’s baton relay due to the ongoing tussle between Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) rival bodies.
The Ministry for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) has snubbed the POA of Arif Hasan which requested the former to coordinate in providing security during the Queen’s baton relay to Lahore in connection with the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow from July 23, 2014 to Aug 3.
The Queen’s baton is due to reach Lahore on Oct 16 to remain here till Oct 18.
The Arif-led POA, which is being recognised as genuine body by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) but not by the IPC, has written a letter to the IPC Minister Riaz Pirzada that the Queen’s baton would be in Lahore on Oct 16 and will be presented before the public on Oct 17.
The POA requested the IPC minister to coordinate in providing security to the nine-member delegation which would come with the Queen’s baton. The POA also asked to confirm the coordination till Sept 25.
However, a POA spokesman said that the IPC even failed to send any reply as a result of which Queen’s baton’s arrival in Pakistan might become doubtful.
The POA in its letter reminded the minister that since Glasgow and Lahore are twin cities, the function is of high importance for the country.
Furthermore, the relay ceremony would be telecast by world leading television channels providing a great opportunity for all stakeholders to present positive image of Pakistan.
According to the details, the Queen’s baton will be taken from Governor House Lahore to Bagh-i-Jinnah.
Earlier, no athlete from Pakistan could participate in the ongoing Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia due to IPC’s same stance about Arif-led POA.
The IPC even failed to get the accreditation card for its own recognised POA of Akram Sahi which is necessary to enter into any sports arena. On the other hand, though Arif-led POA had succeeded in getting the accreditation for the said games, the IPC issued instructions to the immigration officials at all airports not to allow exit to any athlete for Indonesia as a result of which no Pakistani athlete left for Indonesia.