ISLAMABAD  -   Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Monday constituted a three-member sub-committee to prepare recommendations for the betterment of the national game hockey.

A meeting of the Committee was held here in the Parliament House with Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar in the chair. The Chairman of the Committee formed the sub-committee, headed by Senator Walid Iqbal and comprising two other members Salahuddin Tirmizi and Seemee Ezdi.

The sub-committee will contact all the four provinces as well as the corporate sector to solve the issues being faced by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). Secretary IPC Akbar Durrani, President PHF Brig (r) Sajjad Khokhar, Secretary PHF Shehbaz Ahmed Seniors, Treasurer Muhammad Akhlaq Usmani and other concerned officials also attended the meeting.

Brig Khokhar informed the meeting the PHF had tried their level best to meet IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza and informed her about federation’s problems but failed to meet her despite hectic efforts.

He further informed the committee that few certain individuals had used hockey as a tool to get personal benefits. “I was ill and they tried to spread negativity. We as part of the federation are doing our level best but no one is bothered to pay heed towards our requests.”

He further informed the committee that after 1994 World Cup Pakistan had not won a single major tournament and all the players had become professionals and running after money.

“When Shahnaz Sheikh was head coach of the national team, we had to suffer huge misery in India. We are running from post to pillar to revive hockey. When I took over the reins of the federation, we were given huge debts and hockey was dying. With our sincere efforts, we managed to conduct different tournaments, participated in international tournaments and hired foreign coach. But due to government’s cold shoulder response, the foreign coach left Pakistan hockey team.”

He said: “We beat India in India in the 12th SAG. We worked on juniors and in 2017, our juniors beat Australia and won tournament.”

Sharing her views Senator Semi Ezdi said: “We have forgot hockey in Pakistan. Khokhar said the PHF had run from post to pillar to get funds sanctioned but those funds were never released. “For the last five years hockey stadiums in Pakistan are closed down. We don’t have stadiums, funds nor hostels where we could house our players and start training camps. No one bother to appreciate our work and no one had time for hockey. Indian Hockey team had a whopping Rs2 billion annual budget. When we request government for financial help, we are told to win without money. We requested government to release funds for Asian Games but no one moved. I arranged money through personal resources and took a loan of Rs25million from friends and sent national team for Asian Games in Jakarta. We were not given the approved budget by the government.”

Shabaz Senior said hockey federation should be given some permanent place, where they could reside players, officials and coaches. “We had to accommodate 15 players in one room.”

Secretary IPC informed the committee that PHF was given Rs 520 million funds in last 5 years. “We were told to stop funds due to poor performance of the PHF. What is the purpose of giving such huge financial assistance, if national team finished at number 12 in World Cup.

Senator Salahuddin Tirmizi said when federation doesn’t have money then how hockey will move forward. Sardar Yaqoob said they had to witness what is sports policy.

Brig Khokhar informed the committee that according to sports policy it is clearly mentioned to take hockey to school-level. Sardar Yaqoob said schools don’t have boundary walls, how they would have hockey grounds? Brig Khokhar replied the PHF was facing acute shortage of stadiums, we demand more stadiums.

IPC Secretary said: “We hand over the budget to Pakistan Sports Board, after the passage of 18th amendment the provinces are responsible for sports uplift. The PHF is an autonomous body and they must generate funds using their own ways.”  Brig Khokhar informed the committee that national hockey team had 26 international tours in last 40 months and every tour cost around Rs 20 million. “Sindh government had given us Rs 100 million for World Cup participation. We only had Rs 3.5 million annual grant.”

Secretary IPC informed the committee in 2018, federation was given Rs 9.3 million and the federation should inform about their working so they could get funds as it is provincial issue. Brig Khokhar said every person wants to become manager or secretary and as we remove them or try to tell them rules of business, they get agitated and start unleashing hell on us.