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This is regarding PSB's email about preparation plans of South Asian Games wherein PSB has made reference to an article published in The News on March 18th, 2019, incorrectly attributing it to a “leak” of POA’s letter of March 08th, 2019 that too after almost a month. The reason and timing of PSB’s statement are unknown and would not be helpful for the cause of sports in any manner. Who would it benefit? Definitely not POA and neither the IPC.

“POA at this moment will only comment that it has not made any interaction with media on the presumed subject and a meeting with Ms. Fehmida Mirza, Federal Minister IPC, as has been requested by President POA, could not be held due to commitments of both. It will be held in near future where we will take up this matter as well. It would have been best for mutual interest and cooperation if PSB had directly contacted and confirmed POA's version and that would have definitely avoided speculations. We are working for a national cause, therefore POA will not indulge itself further into these non-productive and elusive misstatements by PSB, in order to safeguard the interests of athletes and Pakistani sports”.

We however will like to make it clear that POA, is an autonomous entity, that has not requested any assistance for itself but for one of most cherished segment of society i.e. athletes who must be given due priority. Not only in Pakistan but governments across the world facilitate the development and training of sportsmen and encourage participation in international events and the same is enshrined in PSB rules. Similarly conduct of international events require infrastructural development as well as sovereign guarantee for participants apart from various other security, administrative and financial requirements which PSB is aware of and was also briefed by POA in wake of recent visa refusal to the Pakistani athletes by India. UN has also passed resolutions on these very grounds urging governmental support for holding events in their countries.

The continuous efforts of Government of Pakistan and state institutions who are doing utmost to bring international teams to Pakistan are known to all and in this context POA had forwarded a request to Ministry of IPC to lead the way in region through sports, which unfortunately has been used in a context it was not meant for. However PSB's remark over “no significant performance” is an admission in itself by PSB for PSB. Who is responsible for development of sports comparable to International standards is best known to PSB. Also known to them is the process of bidding and the sovereign guarantees required for holding any International event. If they didn’t they should have learnt in the recent events in which strict actions have been taken against countries for violation of the same. In the end, we are hopeful that the Government of Pakistan will take necessary measures for the preparations of forthcoming South Asian Games as well as conduct of next Chapter of South Asian Games in Pakistan which will go long way towards the national development.

Muhammad Khalid Mahmood
Secretary General