ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan Squash Federation’s inability to handle Nasir Iqbal’s case properly cost the youngster and former Pakistan number 1 squash player was banned by World Anti-Doping Agency for four years.

As per expectations, Wada handed 4-year harsh ban to Nasir Iqbal from February 19, 2016 to February 19, 2020. Nasir was also stripped off from 12th South Asian Individual Squash Champion where he won gold medal for Pakistan.

Nasir is a victim of PSF’s self-styled policies as Nasir and his brother and squash coach Tahir IQbal literally begged before the PSF to take their case seriously and plead not guilty. Despite running from post to pillar and making several contacts with former senior vice president Air vice Marshal (R) Syed Razi Nawab and ex-secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz to help the brightest kid and future of Pakistan squash and despite assurances and promises made by Razi Nawab and Amir Nawaz, nothing on ground was done to ensure Nasir was provided with justice.

Nasir at the time of unjust ban imposed on him was world number 35 and Pakistan number 1 squash player and he was all set to break into PSA top 20 by the year end in 2016. The way federation fought the age scrutiny issue of World Junior Team Squash Championship winning team and managed to get WSF clean-chit for the juniors, if the federation had took same interest, Nasir could have been easily cleared from fabricated charges.

Nasir didn’t have money to appear before International Court of Justice in Switzerland and was left with no other option but to record his statement on video link. On the other hand, Indians had made the issue as a matter of life and death for them and hired world’s top three lawyers as Indians were not in a mood to let Nasir and especially Pakistan off the hook despite not having even handful of evidences to prove their case. But on the other hand, the PSF kept on sleeping and not even ready to pick Nasir or his brother’s SoS calls, which they kept on giving for last 18 months.

When this scribe contacted Tahir Iqbal Khan, brother and coach of Nasir Iqbal to seek his point of view, Tahir said had got a call from the PSF secretary about the verdict. He reiterated that Nasir is completely innocent and never used any unfair means nor ever used any banned substance instead he has been trapped.

“We don’t have any lawyer to defend our case. Now the federation has provided me a lawyer’s number and told me to prepare appeal to be filed with Switzerland High Court for review. If Nasir’s case has been handled properly, he would have been cleared long time back. Indians are using every tactic and trick in their pocket to ensure ban stay but now it’s up to the PSF how they handle the situation. One thing is quite clear, we haven’t done anything wrong and if provided with backing, Nasir will get a clean chit.”

When this correspondent contacted Pakistan Squash Federation Honorary Secretary Wing Commander Tahir Sultan, he said that he had received an email from Lorraine Harding of the WSF about the decision. “We are looking into this and will provide whatever support we can to Nasir.”

When asked about federation’s inability to defend Nasir, Tahir had no answer. When asked about how much time federation needs to study the case, Tahir replied as early as possible.

Ever since Tahir and Shahid Alvi had taken over the helm of affairs, they had made promises one after another but in reality their promises never materialized. They never bothered to inform about developments on the issue of India’s visa refusal to Pakistani players for the Asian Senior Individual Squash Championship. It is time that Pakistan Squash Federation President Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman takes personal interest as without his active involvement Nasir will suffer badly and it is not about an individual but about the reputation of country.

 

 

Mohsin Ali