LAHORE - The stay order issued by Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) elections stopped Lt Gen (R) Arif Hassan to take over the POA as its president for the fourth consecutive term.

According to unofficial results of POA elections that were conducted by Election Commission chairman Justice (R) Qazi Ehsanullah Qureshi and observed by IOC and OCA representative Farman Haider of Kuwait here at a local hotel on Friday, Gen Arif Hassan bagged 80 votes with a lead of 45 to retain the top slot while his rival Maj Gen (R) Akram Sahi managed to get 35 votes.

Three candidates contested for the secretary’s slot, and the triumphant among them was Khalid Mehmood with 82 votes while Punjab Olympic Association (PbOA)’s secretary Idrees Haider Khawaja could collect 29 and Pakistan Ju-Jitsu Federation (PJJF)'s president M Khalil bagged only seven. For the seat of treasurer, Pakistan Handball Federation (PHBF) president M Shafiq gathered 79 votes against Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) chief Ch M Asghar who could get 38 votes.

The nine elected vice presidents were Ghazanfar Abbas (97 votes), Salim Saifullah (91 votes), Brig (R) Rashid Malik (88 votes), Chaudhry M Yaqoob (87 votes), Shaukat Javed (87), Syed Aqil Shah (82), Kamran Lashari (80), Syed Abid Qadri (79), SM Sibtain (75) while Fatima Lakhani was already elected lady vice president unopposed.

Haider Lehri (105), Hafiz Imran Butt (100), Rizwan-ul-Haq (100), Zulfiqar Butt (93), M Jehangir (90), Ahmad Ali Rajput (88) and Veena Masood (87 votes) were elected associate secretaries while the 20 executive committee members included Arif Saeed, Fauzi Khwaja, Javed Shamshad Lodhi, Painda A Malik, Khawar Shah, Farmanullah Anjum, Syed Wasim Hashmi, Zain-ul-Shaukat, Amanullah Khan. Khalid Noor, Tariq Pervez, Amjad Amin Butt, Naqi Mohsin, Mohammad Rashid, Shamim Hashmi, Kifayatullah, Murtaza Bangash, Malik Iftikhar and Arif Nawaz.

Talking to the reporters after the elections, Gen Arif said: “If I manage to take over the POA top slot after the decision of Peshawar High Court (PHC), I promise this time, I will utilize all my experience and resources to promote Pakistan sports and bring it to new heights.”

About the election process, Arif said: “The elections were conducted in fair and transparent manner and also in peaceful atmosphere and were observed by IOC and OCA representative. I hope its results will be acceptable to both the parties.”

Lauding the sportsman spirit of Akram Sahi Group, Arif termed it a good omen for the country’s sports saying he will certainly consult Gen Sahi in different POA matters and get benefit of his vision and suggestions.

Speaking at the occasion, Maj Gen (R) Akram Sahi not only accepted his group’s defeat but also announced that they would prove a strong opposition and take every step to bring improvement in Pakistan sports. “We will sit in all the POA meetings and prove a tough opposition to Gen Arif Group with only purpose of brining betterment in Pakistan sports and promote to it higher level.”