MOHSIN ALI/AZHAR KHANISLAMABAD/LAHORE – The fight to get hold on the top offices of Pakistan sports is getting worse and uglier day by day which may end into the suspension of Pakistan by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).Both factions including Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and interim committee on POA tried to hit each other hard on Tuesday and matter is likely to put Pakistan sports in jeopardy. Despite a well-known fact that neither the POA president nor any other heads of individual sports federations have done anything for the improvement of standards of sports in the country, the privileges and benefits attached to these posts have put these individuals on collision course and the loser will be as usual, the country and its sportsmen.Both the factions, POA interim committee and POA, held their individual meetings in Islamabad and Lahore, respectively, tried to score against each other. In Islamabad, the interim committee meeting, which was presided over by Asif Bajwa, claimed to be attended by 21 out of 35 affiliated federations of POA. In Lahore, POA president Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan chaired a general council meeting of the body and gave a figure of 72 attendees out of 103-member house. In their meetings, the interim committee formed an election commission to hold new POA elections while the POA suspended all the members of interim committee for 10 years as well as disaffiliating Islamabad Olympic Association (IOA).Interim committee chief Bajwa while talking to media persons said after the detailed verdict of Lahore High Court in which the POA elections had been declared null and void, they had formed a three-member election committee under the chairmanship of former Justice (retd) Mian Ajmal while justice (retd) Syed Zahid Rizvi and Justice (retd) Amanullah Yasinzai are the members. “The election commission will submit the election schedule within one month,” he said. Senator Hajio Ghulam Ali, Mir Shahnawaz Murree, Col Qaiser Mustafa, Zafar Abbas Lak and Rana Mujahid were also present on the occasion. “We have also established a committee to review POA election rules under the chairmanship of Zafar Abbas Lak while Rana Mujahid, Shaheen Zafar, Majid Satti, Abu Zafar, M Zafar and Masood Ahmed are the other members. The committee will give send their suggestions, recommendations to the interim committee,” he added. The interim committee has also constituted a committee which would give their recommendations regarding holding of the 32nd National Games venue and other related matters in this regard.“We will soon hold next meeting to discuss future plans as how to take sports forward and we will soon meet government and seek out plans as how to implement 2005 Sports Policy and we have also decided to send our teams and athletes to international events and the house has fully endorsed the interim committee decisions,” he stated. “We have also written letters to other federations and we are now waiting for their reply as we want to take all stake holders on board and want to make decisions with consensus. It is completely baseless that this committee is formed by Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) or government. The fact is that it is formed by the majority of affiliated units of the POA during the general council meeting held in Islamabad last month and now the government has endorsed us,” he claimed. About the February 15 IOC meeting to be held in Switzerland, Bajwa said they would either send their nominee in the meeting or would convey their point of view to the IOC through some other source. He also said to invite IOC and OCA representatives for the holding of fair and transparent elections. On the other hand, in a major crackdown against officials of various sports federations involved in the formation of an interim committee, the POA banned them for 10 years besides disaffiliating Islamabad Olympic Association (IOA). “The house unanimously decided to ban the members of the interim committee to safeguard the interest of Olympic movement in Pakistan,” said Gen Arif at a press conference after the meeting. He said all the eight members of the interim committee banned for 10 years and were not eligible to take any office in any national sports federation. Arif said Islamabad Olympic Association had been disaffiliated as they had played a major role in formation of the parallel POA and were issuing false directions to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and other national federations to contact them as they were looking after the affairs of the POA. He said Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) and Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) had also been suspended for the time being for their role in involving themselves in a negative campaign against the POA. “They have been asked to explain their position in writing after which their views will be thoroughly examined by the POA in consultation with their respective international federations to take a final decision,” he stated. The POA chief said the house formed a committee comprising Engineer Shoukat Ullah, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Syed Aqil Shah, Chaudhary M Yaqoob, Shoukat Javed, Asif Saeed, Hafiz Salman Butt, Idrees Haider Khawaja and Fatima Lakhani to have a dialogue with all the stake holders including officials of the PSB and those sports federations and officials working against the interest of the POA to find an amicable solution of the present crisis. Gen Arif said the house granted affiliation to Archery Federation while the case of granting affiliation to Pakistan Billiard and Snooker Federation (PSBF) was deferred as it did not fulfil some conditions laid down in the constitution. He said he would go to Lausanne, Switzerland to attend a meeting summoned by International Olympic Association (IOA) to listen to the point of view of the POA and Pakistan Sports Board on the ongoing crisis of implementation of sports policy.