Sports Desk Lahore
The Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) has taken serious notice of a letter sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) as complaint against the federal government allegedly creating a threat to the Olympic Movement of Pakistan.
In a letter addressed to POA president retired Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan, Joint Secretary Sports Imran Mahmood has asked the POA to share the letter sent to the IOC with the IPC ministry so as to understand the situation in the broader contest.
“It is therefore requested that the complaint sent to the IOC by the POA with the titled subject “Threats to the Olympic Movement of Pakistan” may please be shared with us so as to understand the situation in broader contest,” the letter, a copy of which was obtained by media, stated.
It may be mentioned here that POA’s general council had expressed concern over some clause of the proposed National Sports Policy, under which the IPC will have its role in the elections of the national sports federations and to form appellate tribunal if any appeal against the conduct of the elections is raised.
Details of correspondence titled ‘Threats to Olympic Movement of Pakistan’ sought
The POA in a letter addressed to the IOC had apprised the global Olympic body that these clauses are opening the way for the government’s interference in the affairs of the national sports bodies.
Therefore, the POA letter reckoned, the Olympic Movement of Pakistan was facing a threat to its autonomous status.
In its reply, the IOC has instructed the POA to have meetings with the government’s functionaries and reminded them that all such issues had already been settled between the IOC/POA and the government way back in 2014, under the Lausanne agreement.
The government as well as the Supreme Court of Pakistan had accepted the autonomous status of the POA and the sports federations.
Though the letter did not mention any word about the real complaint of the POA regarding the election reforms, the government tried to prove there is no dispute existing between the POA and the government.
“It is pertinent to add that on the recommendation of the Federal Minister for IPC/President, Pakistan Sports Board, the Federal Government/Cabinet appointed President, Pakistan Olympic Association as member of the Board of PSB.
The Board is the highest forum for taking administrative and sports related decisions under the Sports Development and Control Ordinance, 1962.
It is not out of place to mention here that the government of Pakistan has always welcomed the positive suggestions of the POA,” read the IPC letter.
“Furthermore, Secretary General, POA was called for a meeting with the Federal Minister for IPC in which the broad contour of the National Sports Policy was shared with National Sports Federations and POA.
“It is unfortunate that instead of discussing the mechanism proposed in the NSP [National Sports Policy] to improve the governance of sports in Pakistan, the POA has resorted to malicious, vilification campaigns at home and abroad,” the letter alleged.
“It is therefore requested that the complaint sent to the IOC by the POA with the titled subject ‘Threats to the Olympic movement of Pakistan’ may please be shared with us so as to understand the situation in broader context,” the letter concluded.
It may be mentioned here that in the last meeting of the Board, the POA president was invited to attend the meeting, just a few hours before its start in Islamabad.
The POA in a letter issued to the media had claimed that the president POA received an email on Sunday to attend the meeting which was being held in Islamabad on Monday. The POA president at that time was in the US.