RAWALPINDI - District Sports Officer (DSO) Rawalpindi Shah Manzar Fareed alias Manzar Shah has been plundering national wealth with both hands, as he is showering countless blessings and favours to his near and dear ones and there is no one who may seek explanation from him for his wrongdoings and self-styled policies.

The sources told this scribe that Manzar Shah was DO Rawalpindi Division for the last three years or so and for that period, the events were conducted only in papers while ground reality is completely different. “It was supposed that Rawalpindi District and Divisional Sports Office would lend a helping hand to the genuine talent of Rawalpindi division and pass on benefits to the genuine players of the region. But the reality is completely different, as genuine Rawalpindi division athletes have been suffering at the hands of Manzar, who is free to do whatever he likes and wants to do.

“In the latest series of injustices done with the athletes, Manzar Shah conferred awards on 16 outstanding athletes of the Rawalpindi division. Last year too, majority of athletes, who had nothing to do with Rawalpindi division, were given awards and they are still waiting to get the cash awards of Rs 10,000 each, despite a lapse of more than a year,” they added.

“Firstly, DO Manzar Shah never bothered to form a committee to ensure transparency in selection of athletes and also set a certain criterion in this regard. A function was arranged at the Commissioner Office Rawalpindi on Thursday. Manzar, like always, tried to hide the event from media, as he was fully aware that in the presence of sports journalists, it would be almost impossible for him to hide actual facts. He doesn’t bother to invite sports journalists with exception of a single so-called photographer,” the sources said.

This scribe was present at the venue, where 16 athletes were awarded with shields and Rs 10,000 cash and interestingly, like always majority of them had no Rawalpindi background. Manazar Shah also included his son Shabbar Shah in the recipients of award, while Raheel Kashif, a table tennis veteran player, who had left Rawalpindi some 13 years back and is residing in Islamabad, was also amongst the recipients. Another table tennis player Ayesha Ansari, who resides in Lahore and never represented Rawalpindi, was also conferred with the award. Ayesha represents Wapda and she only moved to Rawalpindi few months back after getting married in Rawalpindi.

Another judo player Fouzia Mumtaz, who resides in Rawalpindi but never represented the city and had played for Army and now Wapda, was also among the beneficiaries. There is absolutely no one in Rawalpindi division who could seek explanation from DO Manzar Shah that on what grounds he is free to inflict huge injustices on Rawalpindi division athletes, why he is allowed to carry on with the spoiler role.

When this scribe contacted Manzar Shah to know the criterion of awards and on what grounds he had included his son and others, and whether the awards were given on past years’ performances or for the events, the athletes are supposed to participate, he completely failed to answer even a single question.

When asked why Raheela, who is a veteran and represents bank rather than Rawalpindi, was awarded, Manzar replied she played in the 12th South Asian Games. To a query regarding Ayesha Ansari’s inclusion in the list, Manzar said, she lived in Rawalpindi now, but failed to justify grounds behind giving her award.

About the inclusion of his son Shabbar Shah in the beneficiaries, Manzar said he would represent Pakistan in Baseball Junior World Cup this year. He also failed to reply about Fouzia and many other members’ inclusion in the list. About criterion of selection, head and members of the committee, which decides the recipients, Manzar Shah failed to answer.

This scribe also contacted Assistant Commissioner Tariq Ali Basra and drew his attention towards the injustices being done with the athletes. He promised to look into the matter and assured a strict action against if found any wrong doing.