ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) secretary M Akram Khan termed the recently-concluded 35th National Boxing Championship at KPT Sports Complex, Karachi as meager eye-washer and wastage of huge funds.

Talking to The Nation, Akram said: “The so-called boxing federation under highly dubious character Doda Bhutto was a super flop. The players were promised to be given a cash prize of Rs 10,000 for winning gold, Rs 7,000 for silver and Rs 5,000 each for bronze, but nothing on ground was given to pugilists. Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah sanctioned a huge amount of Rs 5 million for conducting the event in June, but the championship was conducted in November in which a lot of financial irregularities were reported, but like past to no avail, Doda Bhutto had plundered national wealth with both hands. Vendors in Islamabad are still waiting for their dues of 2nd Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Boxing championship to get cleared since 2012. Instead of taking action against Doda, he was given more money to play with the futures of the boxers.”

Akram said: “The entire lists of participating boxers and officials submitted by Doda Bhutto were bogus and not a single penny of cash award was handed over to winners Army and runners-up and third position holders. The team event winner was supposed to get Rs 200,000, runners-up Rs 100,000, third position holder Rs 50,000 and the best boxer of the event Rs 30,000, but nothing was given to the players. A lot of irregularities witnessed in accommodation, meal, number of actual participants, as bogus teams were included in the event. Ranger’s department team was inducted as Sindh province team. The payments were made to so-called legends.

“I had time and again requested government to conduct impartial inquiry into maltreatments of Doda Bhutto. A complaint of Rs 5 million against Doda is already pending with anti-corruption unit Sindh. The inquiry officer has sought permission from Chief Secretary Sindh to allow anti-corruption unit to conduct open inquiry,” he added.

“A fake IOC course was conducted under Sri Lankan unknown coach in Karachi this month. During our era, top Cuban coaches were invited for training courses. None of Sri Lankan player had ever won gold medal at Asian, SAF or other international forum rather they themselves used to get training from Pakistani coaches. Now Pakistani boxers are left to depend and rely on strangers.

“Pakistan boxing is witnessing its worst phase, as Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) granted Rs 1.2 million for conducting the IOC course and no certificate were distributed amongst the participants. I request POA president Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hassan to conduct inquiry over misuse of huge grant. How on earth even a world class coach could transform unknowns into top coaches in just one-week time? Akram questioned.

“Pakistan ruled international boxing body for almost four decades but now it has been facing its worst time. Pakistani boxers had won gold medals in international events in the past, but now our boxers can’t even participate in international events and if some are given chances, they are outclassed in only few seconds, as merit doesn’t prevail in Pakistan Boxing Federation.

If things continue in same fashion, I fear boxing will completely vanish from Pakistan and all the past glory days of Pakistan boxing will never be remembered in history books. Not a single Pakistani referee judge is included in international circuit, even not in SAF Games, where not a single Pakistani is officiating. We are not in any international or even Asian Commission. It is very sad and hurting,” Akram lamented.

“I always protected the rights of the boxers and always prefer merit when it comes to team selection for any international event. I was just sidelined due to financial embezzlements made by Doda, who was also arrested in Dubai for cheating with former Asian boxing president Ghufor Rakhimov. Already cases are pending against him in NAB. Why action is not taken against a person, who had destroyed Pakistan boxing? FIR is registered at Margalla Police Station in Islamabad, while he is declared absconder in a number of cases. I request PM, IPC minister, POA president, PSB Director General, FIA, NAB and other agencies to open criminal cases against Doda and start investigation without any delays,” Akram concluded.