ISLAMABAD    -   Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has accepted the resignation of Secretary Olympian Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and appointed Olympian Asif Bajwa as new secretary of the federation from Monday.

The announcement came after Bajwa — who had resigned from the post of PHF secretary in 2013 –met with the PHF President Brig Khokhar at his residence on Saturday.

While talking to The Nation on Saturday Brig Khokhar confirmed that he had accepted Shahbaz’ resignation, which he had submitted few months back and thanked Shahbaz for his matchless contributions and efforts for Pakistan hockey and wish him best of luck for the FIH role.

He said as Shahbaz was focusing on the FIH role it was the best time to relieve him from the PHF. “Shahbaz in his around 40 months or so has done tremendous job but I feel time is ripe to let him focus on FIH assignments, as he also requested to relieve him.”

Brig Khokhar said, Asif Bajwa will take over PHF Lahore office from May 6th and will perform his official duties, as Bajwa had vast experience of previously working as secretary with Qasim Zia as President, I am sure he will utilize all his abilities to take Pakistan hockey back to same old glory days heights, it was although a tough decision for me to accept Shahbaz’s resignation, but we have to move forward and work jointly for the sake of hockey.

When this scribe contacted Shahbaz Senior to seek his point of view but despite repeated attempts to contact Shahbaz cell phone was powered off.

Interestingly, quite some time has passed when Shahbaz resigned from his post and he had also taken back his resignation and started to perform his duties as secretary as Brig Khokhar had made it very clear he won’t accept Shahbaz’s resignation. There was too much pressure from not only IPC Minister but also from Standing Committees as well but Brig Khokhar refused to melt down but all of a sudden something went wrong and things have moved so quickly.

Shahbaz had turned in his resignation in December last year as well after Pakistan’s dismal show at the hockey World Cup in India where they finished 11th. In his resignation, he had cited government’s alleged apathy towards hockey and said that there was no infrastructure for hockey in the country. He had further said that the PHF had no asset or a system in place for the generation of funds.