MOHSIN ALI

ISLAMABAD

 

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday ordered to set up a task force to revamp the system of sports in the country including the national sports federations.

The prime minister gave the directives in a meeting with Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada here at the PM Office. Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, IPC secretary Amjad Ali Khan and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Akhter Nawaz Ganjera were also present.

The prime minister was informed that state-of-the-art Sports University, being established by the HEC in collaboration with the PSB and the IPC would be ready for inauguration by second week of December.

The most interesting thing as mentioned by this scribe that the IPC minister wanted to get his blue-eyed PSB Director General Akhtar Ganjera appointed as vice chancellor of the proposed first-ever Sports University at the PSB premises. The minister completely forgot that CDA rules doesn’t allow any construction without permission as Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has long sought permission to construct a hall and rooms for Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) players at Mushaf Squash Complex, but despite lapse of several months, they are yet to get a nod of approval.

It was surprising to see Ganjera attending the meeting as he is hardly available in the country and remains busy in enjoying foreign tours and hardly bothers to streamline the PSB’s poor state of affairs.

The sources said that the PSB workers are waiting for salaries and finance department is busy in obliging Green Hill, sports manufacturers, to whom Rs8.6 million have been released while the staffers are still suffering without their meager monthly salaries. The Green Hill is yet to complete the shipment of tracksuits, but their close contacts with Ganjera are more than enough to clear the bills.

The sources further revealed that swimming pool is filthy and a lot of complaints are being registered every day due to highly unhygienic condition of the pool as members are suffering from different skin diseases but no action in this regard is being taken. Ganjera’s blue-eyed Zubair and Waqar had issued membership cards in bulks and there is absolutely no check and balance on how much income is being generated through swimming pool. The same is the case with the PSB gym, where another close aide of the DG, Ansar, has been enjoying over-the-moon benefits, while members are suffering.

The sources said that Pakistan sports and athletes have been suffering a lot due to incompetent DG Ganjera who are careless about PSB affairs, and he is close to his retirement but he still wants to cling with high post where he has been enjoying great perks and privileges for personal use. That’s why he and his supporter Pirzada are trying their best to get a top post in the sports university.

On the other hand, the sources said there is no check and balance in the PSB. The staffers are free to come whenever they like as majority of the staffers don’t bother to either attend the office or in case, they finally come, they remain busy in chit chat and do nothing for the betterment of sports . Female officials take hours’ long lunch breaks and are hardly present on their seats.

The DG mostly backed employees who belonged to his hometown Sargodha as he had inducted an army of persons from his native city who remained missing from their duties most of the time. When this correspondent went to meet Director Media Azam Dar and seek his point of view and pointed out flaws and employees being absent from their duties, Azam said only respective head of departments can sought explanation from the relevant persons but he agreed that rules and regulations must be followed. He promised to take up the issue with relevant department heads and ensure strict disciplinary action against those who are found guilty of violating rules and regulations.

The IPC Minister instead of putting his all energies in getting his blue-eyed DG appointed as vice chancellor should pay heed to long pending poor state of affairs of the PSB and should enforce discipline and rule of law in the Board.

Ganjera is all set to conduct second edition of Quaid-E-Azam Inter-Provincial Games next month and is is conducting meetings and looking for ways and means to pass on benefits to his near and dear ones. It is quite astonishing that IPC Minister is keeping mum on non-holding of National Games since long, which require limited budget while millions of rupees are being wasted on holding of few categories in inter-provincial games. The POA president should take up the issue and ensure Games must be held under the POA patronage as players deserve much better treatment. The PSB must also inform how many players are selected from first edition of Quiad-E-Azam Games and where are those players now. They never have the answer as they never focus on players because their motives are completely different.