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Sports held hostage Back To Main


Dawn News

REFERENCE your editorial ‘Sports held hostage’ (Sept 27). You have rightly pointed to the inexplicable indifference of the PML government to a crucial issue. Is youth our priority? If yes, the apathy of the government is deplorable.

The minister of inter-provincial coordination needs to take an objective briefing on the subject. The correct legal perspective of the issue is still obscure to him, while the media still largely perceives it as a tussle between two factions.

The PSB is contemptuously dragging the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) into the controversy over the stipulations of the Revised National Sports Policy 2005 (NSP) about the restriction of tenures of office-bearers of national sports bodies despite the decision of the Supreme Court.

Briefly the SC observed that the counsel for the PSB had himself conceded that the “PSB does not and cannot compel the respondents or any other national sports body to seek affiliation with the PSB. If, however, a sports body does seek and obtain such affiliation, it would be obliged to abide by the rules of the PSB including rule 4 which authorises the Board to require a sports body affiliated with it to incorporate the terms of the Sports Policy in its constitution.”

The SC held, “The members of the respondent (NSFs) are free to enter into any association or union, and to adopt any constitution of their own choosing, including one which allows for life tenures for office bearers …. The PSB can not regulate or control an association which does not seek affiliation with it. We are, therefore, not in any doubt that the members of the respondent associations would have the right to form their associations without interference from the PSB but this can only happen if the respondents do not voluntarily, and on their own initiative, seek PSB affiliation.”

The decision clearly implies that the restriction of tenures stipulated in the NSP is inapplicable to any of its office-bearer because indisputably the POA is not affiliated and it has never sought affiliation with the PSB. The election of the current chief, Syed Arif Hasan for the third term stands confirmed and validated by the Lahore High Court.

Over 90pc of the constituent members of the POA stand by their chief.