LAHORE: While chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Sports Ehsan Mani has reportedly presented a report to PM Imran Khan suggesting different proposals on promoting sports, Pakistan Olympic Association president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan has disclosed that the Task Force had not made any contact with the POA to seek its proposals.
Talking to reporters after chairing the POA general council meeting here on Saturday, the president while answering a question said no meeting had been held with the Task Force as yet so that appropriate proposals could be conveyed to it by the national Olympic association for the betterment of sports.
Needless to say, the POA along with the national sports federations are the biggest stakeholders. However, it seems, the Task Force has missed to incorporate their proposals before presenting a detailed report to the prime minister for sports promotion.
In the wake of this apparently inappropriate situation, the POA president hoped the Task Force’s proposals to the PM would help in enhancing the standard of sports across the country.
Meanwhile responding to a question, the POA president said the Balochistan Olympic Association has expressed its intention to host the 33rd National Games in April this year. The Games for the past six years have been postponed by the the provincial associationseveral times for one reason or the other.
“The POA will send a delegation to Quetta to first monitor the infrastructure developed for [staging] the Games,” Lt Gen Arif said.
He further said that the POA Sports Academy was being set up and its first head, Kamran Lashari, had also been appointed to prepare the basic draft for the academy.
Lt Gen Arif said Supreme Court had declared the POA as a private body and it was a historic decision.
Meanwhile, Dawn learnt that the POA general council made some amendments to its constitution, according to which the formation of the POA Athletics Commission had been changed.
Earlier, the 16-member commission comprised 11 men and five women. To make it according to the IOC constitution, the representation of eight males and as many women has been approved by the general council. All the members hold the right of vote.
Moreover, National School Olympic Association will also be formed to promote sports at school level. A separate association representing all traditional sports of the country would also be formed, it was learnt.
The 128-member house, Dawn learnt, expressed great concern over the constant delay in holding the National Games with many of them wanting to even replace host Balochistan with another province.
Though the delegation of Balochistan Olympic Association was confident about holding the national event in April, the national sports federations appealed to let them first check their respective international commitments during the month of April. The POA has asked the federations to submit their international programmes by March 16 before its delegation visits Quetta.
It is also learnt that the Balochistan Olympic Association is still seeking the release of funds from its government to make necessary arrangements for hosting the said Games. During the last government, though the funds were allocated for the Games, it is learnt they were not released. And now as a new government is functioning in Balochistan, fresh steps on urgent basis are required for release of the funds.
The proposal to give two voting rights to each provincial Olympic association did not carry weight and was thus turned down.
Dawn also learnt that the general council also approved to end the patron-ship of president of Pakistan of the POA to keep the body private, under the Supreme Court’s decision.