Interim Committee firm on elections

ISLAMABAD: The Interim Committee holding National Games said on Tuesday that the elections of the POA would be held here as per schedule on July 5 at the Margalla Hotel.

The proceeding will start at 11:00am under the Election Commission led by former Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Mian Ajmal.

“There is no change in the schedule of the elections,” said Interim Committee chairman Asif Bajwa at a press conference here on Tuesday.

He said the Supreme Court had adjourned the hearing till September of the appeal filed by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) against the Lahore High Court’s October 23, 2012, judgment regarding its election conducted on February 2, 2012.

Bajwa also announced that the gold medallists of the National Games would be given away Rs3000 per medal, the silver medallists Rs2000 per medal, and the bronze medalists Rs1500 per medal.

The cash prizes would encourage the athletes, he said.

When he was asked about the suspension of the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBF) by the international basketball body, Bajwa said that the world body did not hear his federation’s point of view and after the National Games the international body would be properly intimated about the whole situation through a letter. “We are Pakistanis and will follow the laws of the country,” said Bajwa.

About the contingent sent by the Arif Hasan-led POA to Korea for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Bajwa said it was totally illegal. “The contingent has been illegally sent to Korea as it is not approved by the government of Pakistan,” said Bajwa.

When asked why football was not included in the National Games, the Interim Committee secretary Rana Mujahid said that despite the legal battle between the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and the Pakistan Sports Board, they had tried their best to protect footballers from damage by holding three meetings with the football authorities but to no avail. “We had even offered the PFF that they should join the management committee so that football event could be put in the National Games but they did not respond,” said Rana, a former hockey Olympian.

Rana Mohammad Ashraf, a former secretary of the Islamabad Football Association (IFA), also held the PFF responsible for the omission of football.

He said in a press conference here at the Pakistan Sports Complex that in the 31st National Games too football was not included but at the end it was put after the footballers staged country-wide demonstrations.