ISLAMABAD - The upper house of the parliament Monday passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the government to uphold “at all cost” the national sports policy.
Later, the federal inter-provincial coordination minister informed the house that the government was planning to establish a sports university in the country.
The resolution moved by PPP lawmaker Farhatullah Babar said, “This house calls upon the government to uphold the national sports policy, the decision of the cabinet, the verdict of the SC and the recommendations of the sports federations and the Senate committee dealing with the matters of Pakistan Olympic Association.” It further calls upon the government not to succumb to any pressure, intimidation and coercion, internal or external in implementing the sports policy in letter and spirit.
Riaz Hussain Pirzada, inter-provincial coordination minister, responding to the motion said that the government was planning to establish a sports university in the country and funds for it would be allocated in the next budget. He said that the stance of the government was same as that of the house and the passage of the resolution would help the ministry stick to his stance.
Farhatullah Babar speaking on the motion called for urgent revamping of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) in the light of the national sports policy adopted by the cabinet and duly endorsed by the Supreme Court and the recommendations of the sports federations as well as the Senate committee on inter-provincial coordination failing to which, he said, a disturbing signal would be sent that a lone individual could hold to ransom the country’s institutions with impunity.
He said that the National Sports Policy approved by the cabinet and upheld by the SC did not permit anyone holding the office of president of a sport body for three terms but the incumbent president of Pakistan Olympic Association had forced himself into his position for the third time in violation of the policy.
He said that at present two groups are claiming to represent the POA. The government recognises one and the other led by General Arif clings to his position, saying if he was touched the International Olympic Committee will suspend Pakistan’s membership. Failure to take firm action has cost the national sports heavily, he said.
“Let us call the bluff that IOC will suspend the Pakistan,” he said, adding that even if it was suspended, Pakistani players would still allowed to take part in international sports, albeit without national flag. It happened in the past with many countries including India and there is nothing to worry about the suspension.
He said that the name of Arif must be placed on the ECL and fresh elections of POA be held to which the IOC should also be invited. “We need to uphold our institutions and refuse to be blackmailed,” he said.