KARACHI: Pakistan’s political scene was jolted on Friday with the decision of disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court, but the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stayed unaffected.
The PM of the country, by default, is the Patron in Chief of all the sports federations of Pakistan, but PHF Secretary Shahbaz Senior said that Nawaz’s role in the working of the federation was minimal.
"PM’s disqualification won’t affect PHF functions," said PHF Secretary Shahbaz Senior. "Patron in chief’s only role was to approve finances for tours and camps."
He added that they always contacted the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry, if they needed financial assistance. "We are never in direct contact with the PM; The IPC ministry acts as the bridge. So if we have any issues regarding financial grants, we will contact the IPC ministry."
He further revealed that the PM had provided PHF with a financial grant which is still being used for tours and camps.
Talking about the future of Pakistan Hockey League (PHL), which is scheduled to take place in November and received security clearance from the Pakistan Army recently, Shahbaz said PM had no direct involvement in the process.
"A private company is organising the league and arranging finances through sponsors. So, we are going to function without any impediments," he said.
Chairman nominees remain same: PCB
The PCB was also thought to be in a fix after Nawaz’s disqualification since Patron named two members, Najam Sethi and Arif Ejaz, to the Board of Governors (BoG) recently, but according to a board official, everything remains the same.
Sethi is set to contest for the coveted PCB chairmanship after current head Shaharyar Khan’s three-year term ends in August.
The PSL chairman is expected to be elected unopposed after the appointment of Justice (rtd) Afzaal Haider as the acting chairman of the PCB, and the latter is also tasked with holding elections within 30 days.
“We have received the notification [of PM’s disqualification],” said the board official. “The nominees for next PCB chairman will remain the same. Nawaz’s disqualification won’t affect these nominees.”
The official further clarified: “PCB takes all decisions through its BoG, while the Patron in Chief approves financial grants, which will now be done by the incoming PM. Meanwhile, the decisions Nawaz has taken will stay.”
Haider’s first task as the Election Commissioner will be to ask for nominations from the selected regions and departments for the chairman’s post. If more than one nominations are received, then elections will be held.
However, there are strong chances that current Executive Committee head Sethi will be elected as the new chairman without any opposition.
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