LAHORE–5 February 2013–President of the Pakistan Olympic Association, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan, HI(M) addressing a press conference at the POA Headquarters here on Tuesday afternoon said, "Joint Secretary, IPC backed so-called dissidents who had lost the POA elections have crossed all limits. Their illegal trespass of holding a meeting of people of dubious antecedents and portraying it as if the POA has met has no precedence anywhere. Who authorized them to call the meeting and dub it as if the POA was meeting when the courts have had no issue with my election as President POA, when the IOC recognizes the POA as the legitimate National Olympic Committee of Pakistan?
The repeated thrust of the POA President was on how losers were trying to hijack the POA and the National Federations by employing the government muscle because of a few interested individuals. And to prove his point, Gen. Arif gave circumstantial and other evidence. Such as the losers acknowledging and accepting defeat in front of the television cameras. Their defeat was endorsed again by the highest POA body: the General Council.
“Apart from the locus standi of the person calling the meeting, who are the people in attendance? Not the genuinely elected office-bearers who were recognized as such by all concerned, the POA and the continental and global federations under whose watch they operate.
“This campaign that started post POA elections in February 2012 is a malicious attempt to install the losers by overwhelming margin in the offices of the winners with the help of Pakistan Sports Board. This is something that the POA and the National Federations have resisted throughout. And we would continue to do so.
“At the one hand stories are being planted in newspapers that the POA should reconcile with these, and on the other such naked transgressions are taking place.
“The so-called Interim Committee that this gang had shied from announcing after its previous illegal and unconstitutional moot has now been unleashed?
“My question to all those with dubious intent and even more dubious credentials – the losers with no legs to stand on –is: what is the big rush? When the IOC has already called the POA and the PSB over to Lausanne on Feb 15, why are things being taken to a head now? Why can these elements not wait for the outcome of that meeting?
“Because they know that they have no legal, moral, constitutional locus standing and also what the IOC verdict would be.
“I am telling them here and now, surrounded with and backed by the genuine representatives of Pakistan’s National Federations and Provincial Associations, that this could have dire consequences for Pakistan Sports.
“But come what may we shall not allow this to happen to the Pakistan Olympic Association or the National Federations”, said Gen. Arif, who was indeed encircled by a large number of National Federations’ presidents and secretaries.
To a question, Gen. Arif said: “This adamant brinkmanship by the losers is leading Pakistan sports on the path of ignominy and disaster. We at the POA don’t wish this to come to pass, and that is why we would not just protect our independence and integrity in line with our mandate according to the Olympic Charter but also try to save Pakistan from losing face owing to the ambition of a misguided few”.
The POA President also mentioned that of the 25 who are said to have attended the meeting, an overwhelming majority was patently bogus, there were either misrepresentation or unauthorized representation in most other cases. The forum and the way the meeting had been called – no authority to requisition, then no requisition at all , no agenda and no mention of where the meeting had taken place – all combine to paint it as a highly dubious exercise. People were ordered on the telephone to attend, in Federal Board office which was opened on a Sunday.
Gen. Arif said that the POA’s General Council shall meet again on February 12, 2013 “to re-endorse its mandate for the current dispensation not by just substantial but a very vast majority – with the entire media present to vouch for its being genuinely representative”.