Probe committee submits report to PM

Investigation seems to be half-baked and cursory as details surface

Nabil Tahir July 13, 2015
Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in their history. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The Prime Minister’s probe committee, headed by IPC secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, has submitted a report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after meeting with Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool, secretary Rana Mujahid, captain Muhammad Imran and former head coach Shahnaz Sheikh regarding the poor performance at the Olympic qualification round.

The committee held its first meeting on June 9 where the coach and captain gave their reports and suggestions for the national game. The committee then met with the PHF president and secretary, who were also asked several questions and were expected to be asked to step down.

The committee was supposed to meet the officials, coach and captain for three days before presenting a detailed report to the PM, but only met with them for a single day.

The committee asked the officials and the captain to ensure their presence on June 10, in what was supposed to be the second day of the meeting. Sheikh, meanwhile, was not asked to join.

However, when the officials and Imran arrived at the PHF joint secretary’s office for the meeting on June 10, the committee was not there. After waiting for a few hours, they were told via text that the meeting will not take place.

A source close to the matter claimed that the committee — comprising Col (R) Mudassar, Shahbaz Senior, Khawaja Junaid and Akhtar Ganjera — mainly questioned Sheikh and Imran, while Mujahid and Akhtar Rasool were not asked many questions.

The source also claimed that the inquiry was seemingly not conducted in earnest, with the committee having already made up their minds about the results — with reports circulating of Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali being asked to help the committee generate the report.

“Jamali is odds-on to become the next president and the necessary amendments could be made in the PHF constitution to pave way for him to take over the president’s office,” claimed the source.

“According to the PHF constitution and the rules of the International Hockey Federation, all office bearers in the federation have to be under 70, while Jamali is 71.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th,  2015.

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