LAHORE - The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) - the fief at the top of federal sporting establishment and rather well-known for its inefficiency in the circles outside its bureaucratic web - took yet another belligerent step by asking the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) for removal of its sub offices in the capital and vacating the offices of its marketing arm, the Pakistan Sports Trust (PST), at the Jinnah Sports Complex post-haste, within the next 24 hours. Other than someone with extreme prejudice, not to mention the mindset of a bully, would ask one's tenant to get lost bag and baggage in about a day's time? The action is indeed arbitrary in the extreme and smacks of palpable bias, hinting at difficult days ahead for the POA and national federations. Some noises had already been made in dire tone by the federal sports ministry and the PSB brass to bring the national federations under its collective thumb through the guise of "a model constitution" that would be mandatory to adopt or else these organisation would cease to exist. It is entirely another thing that the POA had already launched its own model constitution for the federations, though the difference here was that it was done with the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The threat from the federal sporting bureaucracy was quite explicit, and it was in complete disregard to the fact that neither the functioning of POA nor the federations can be dictated by a government entity because this is anathema to the statutes of the IOC, with world bodies of each and every sport most cautiously toeing the line. What is more, violation to these precepts brings severe and immediate sanctions - to the extent of banning the country from taking part in multi-nation events in all disciplines. At a point when Pakistan is already threatened by isolation of a very serious kind owing to our peculiar geo-political conditions, this ill-advised government intervention is likely to be resisted by the POA and the federations, resulting in further disaster. What is of interest here is that such exercises have been carried out before - most notably with Gen. Pervez Musharraf's fullest support under Brig. (Retd) Saulat Abbas as director general PSB in 2001. Brig. Saulat gave us our first but extremely flawed National Sports Policy. The defects were there because the accent was on conquering the federations by cramming them with cohorts and cronies and not on genuine development. The Policy has remained unimplemented largely because it was unimplementable. If the PSB and the federal sports ministry were indeed interested in development of Pakistan sports and not really subduing the federations, there is plenty that could be done through creation of infrastructure - an area where we so woefully lack, to the extent that we were way behind even most under-developed nations. And without high quality infrastructure, and other essential inputs such as top of the line training and coaching, equipment, nutrition and general environment where competition and innovation is allowed to thrive, no nation can hope to prosper in sports in this post-modern era. If anything, the Beijing Games most unerringly drove this point home. Without denying that there might be some inefficient and rogue elements in nooks and crannies of Pakistan's 30-odd sporting federations, even if one assumes that everyone is the best horse for the course, the requirements noted above cannot be met from the resources generated by them on their own. Our being reduced to a single sport nation and the marketing rupee available from the private sector has combined to put the federations in a position of serious disadvantage. That was why under Lt. Gen. (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan the concept of PST was hatched. It was meant to raise resources so that these could be ploughed into the federations and their development. In the last four years, the PST has contributed around Rs 200 million, if not more to the cause. And incremental results were just coming forth. Pakistan has started well in youth events of some merit and standing in a variety of disciplines. With that in view, given the difficult attenuating circumstances, the PST deserved a pat on its back and not a thumping by way of being thrown out of its quarters. In the circumstances, if the intent of the government functionaries indeed is to develop Pakistan sports and make it competitive in arenas in the South Asian region and the Asian continent (forget the Olympic honours, for in the prevalent circumstances that could only be dubbed as a pipe dream), it would be worth their while to practice inclusion and not seclusion - at home. Pakistan sport is already secluded and under-developed enough to withstand unwanted traumas such as this latest episode that seems to be the harbinger of much more.