ISLAMABAD - Athletics team head coach Asghar Gill, top archer and medal hope Idrees, athlete Shafqat Abbas, wrestler Abdul Rehman left for their home towns with heavy hearts as no one in Pakistan Sports Board bothered to inform them about whether they would be provided accreditations to travel to Guwati, India to participate in the 12th South Asian Games.

There were touching scenes witnessed in the PSB as athletes and officials, who had trained for months in a hope to represent country in SAG, left with tears in their eyes. They went from post to pillar to know about exact nature of things, but sadly none of the remaining PSB officials could satisfy them or even say a few words of wisdom. Strangely, top most boss Director General PSB Dr Akhtar Nawaaz Ganjera along with his blue-eyed persons left to Guwati without taking NOC from the government and that too through road, setting aside government directives, in which it was strictly conveyed to contingents not to travel through roads due to security concerns.

Now PSB is running without an acting DG for around 15 days, which mean no one is in the PSB to carry on day to day affairs and pass on directives to lower staff. IPC Minister should have taken notice of the situation. If he had given special permission to DG PSB to attend the SAG, then he should have at least appointed someone senior to look after the PSB affairs just like in the past as whenever a DG embarks on foreign tour, acting charge is being handed over to the senior most person.

At one end Pakistani athletes, officials are facing embracing situation in Guwati, where they are given a real rough treatment and there is no one who could take care of their miseries. Players are not allowed to come out of their rooms and they are literally stuck in their rooms and playing areas. Top athletes including long international tennis star Aisam had gone through pain and agony, while on the other hand officials from Interior Ministry visited the PSB and wanted to know about facilities, accommodation being provided to female basketball team players, as daughter of Interior Minister Cha Nisar Ali Khan is a member of Pakistan basketball team, which would play in SAG. Nobody bothers to seek explanation from the PSB about other contingent members, but all are fully concerned about Interior Minister’s daughter’s protocol. Highly placed sources inside the PSB confirmed to this scribe that first there was no one in PSB who could inform interior ministry officials about exact nature of the arrangements for basketball team, officials and players. But after realising the gravity of the situation the PSB made available all the details about the arrangements being made for basketball team and officials. It would have been highly appreciated had Interior Minister Ch Nisar showed same concern about other athletes as well and they should have also provided at least respectable accommodation and viable travelling routes. It is hoped that IPC Minister will finally wake up and stop giving unwanted backing to DG PSB and seek explanation about his complete failure to provide athletes.