ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Gen (retd) Arif Hasan has been asked by the Minister for Inter-provincial coordination (IPC) to vacate his post in light of a Supreme Court Order.
The apex court in its order on the national sports policy last year, categorically barred office-bearers of a sports body to hold an office for a third consecutive term. And earlier in the July, election of the interim body monitored by the representatives of IPC and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), saw the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) President Major General (R) Muhammad Akram Sahi elected as the new POA chief.
POA executive member Col (R) Mujahid Ullah Tareen, in a statement, claimed that Arif Hasan had met the IPC Minister last week to seek his support, but the minister declined and directed Hasan to leave his post. Tareen added that Hasan though was defying the rules and not stepping down and had instead called an illegal meeting on August 3, as the imbroglio between the PSB and the POA continues.
IOC backs Hasan
On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in two letters from the heads of two separate divisions, resoundingly endorsed the Pakistan Olympic Association's (POA) stance on the Interim Committee of POA and its elections.
"The POA stands vindicated. We have done our best to preserve and protect the Olympic Movement and its spirit in this country and at the same time escaping the IOC sanctions that were clearly under consideration after its Executive Board's approval."
The letters from the NOC Relations and International Relations and Governance stated that "We have been able to achieve this despite the worst kind of provocation by the Pakistan Sports Board and its propped-up so-called Interim Committee of POA."
The IOC hoped that the newly elected government will be able to crack down on the practices of the PSB.
"We hope and pray that the new federal government shall be able to check the menace that the PSB and its satellite Interim Committee has become, and also back the genuine sporting representative of the nation in POA and the National Federations.”
The much maligned POA president Hasan said that "The IOC's support has all along been critical. The POA is grateful to the IOC, OCA and the International Federations for their resolute backing, and also to an overwhelming majority of the National Federations for their stout resistance to the illegal takeover of the National Olympic Committee."
Both the letters, which have been widely circulated amongst the Olympic Family worldwide, while providing unqualified support to the POA and its national and international status, spare Pakistan the ban or suspension as a country.
The letters also reaffirm that the Gen. Arif Hasan led POA shall not only remain the IOC's representative, but is also to take legal and all other action on its behalf for the use of the international body's property.
IOC's NOC Relations head Pere Miro in his letter pledged total support. In the second letter, Jerome Poivey, of the IOC's International Relations and Governance section, requested Hasan to take action against any official in a Pakistani National Federation who associated himself with the Interim Committee and its elections.
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Mr. Hassan has not been able to do good in two terms, chances are that he would not be able to do good in third term as well. Culture of me or non-body should end for once. Nation has already suffer a lot. Though manner in which POA is being taken over is not correct but for the good of the system in long run Mr. Hassan should gracefully take a retirement.