RAWALPINDI - Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh Tuesday termed the announcement of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) of conducting elections through partial persons illegal and against the constitution of the federation and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) charter.

Talking to The Nation, Shahnaz said: “A neutral body should be appointed to hold the PHF elections as most of the persons in the current body appointed to conduct elections process are PHF employees while executive board meeting was conducted without the approval of the council members.” He said as per Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) sports policy, district coordinators appointed District Sports Officer as representatives to conduct elections, but none of the DSOs were nominated for the process. “How is it possible that sitting secretary Rana Mujahid, who was banned by POA for 10 years, can issue statement in this regard. The IOC-backed POA must take notice of the prevailing situation and take strict action against Rana Mujahid.

“We strongly appreciate Perviaz Rasheed's gesture of not accepting the role of election commissioner to conduct the PHF election, as the entire process is being done in dubious circumstances,” he added.

“Same persons were at the helm of affairs of the PHF for the past five years or so, now they want again to contest the elections. They have destroyed hockey and brought shame for the country during the past five years. Now how is it possible they, all of a sudden, can change the fast declining fortunes of the national game? They are trying to befool masses and nothing else and also lack direction and qualities to take hockey to the same heights which it was in our era,” the ex-Olympian stated.

“They must immediately announce neutral persons to conduct the election process ethically and legally. They are bound to follow the rules and regulations in true letter and spirit,” he maintained.

Shahnaz said: “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has immediately taken action against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) soon after becoming its patron and appointed a five-member ad-hoc committee to run its affairs. The situation is PCB is far better than that in the PHF. So we Olympians including Islauddin, Samiullah, Sameer Hussain, Qamar Zia, Qamar Ibrahim, Naveed Alam, Ayaz and I, strongly appeal to PM, who is also the patron of the PHF, to take serious notice of the worst performance of the PHF. We are quite hopeful that the PM will surely look into the matter and appoint an ad-hoc on the PHF to hold the elections of the federation’s in a fair and transparent way.”

The former Olympian said Asian Games would be held next year and the green shirts had to play qualifiers for the 2016 Brazilian Olympics. “Masses have already suffered a lot at the hands of these incumbent persons and they will not tolerate any such repeat of things. I have received number of calls from across the country from former hockey players and fans who want me to express their feelings and made it clear that if things continue to go in the same direction, we will be left with no other option but to seek courts’ help to streamline the PHF affairs,” he added.

“If such thing happens and people finally decide that enough is enough and seek courts’ help, it will not be in anyone's favour and will send a very negative signal to the international community. So it is my humble request to the PM to look into the affairs of the PHF before it's too late,” Shahnaz concluded.