LAHORE

Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan Wednesday said the POA has decided to meet Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso to save Pakistan’s image at international level and to get rid of problems being faced by Olympic movement in Pakistan.

Arif said: “Pakistan cannot afford ban from International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to rifts between the POA and government sports organisations, therefore, we have requested the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports to play their role in resolving this issue so that we may be able to save Pakistan’s image internationally.”  He said the IOC had accentuated to Pakistan government, all international organisations and sports federations that it just accepted the status of Arif-led POA which was only functional body of the country to run the affairs of the country’s sports. But some people are trying to hijack the national sports body to fulfil their personal agendas, said Arif.

“The IOC had decided to ban Pakistan before London Olympics 2012 but due to our all-out efforts and influence, we succeeded in stopping them by doing so because if Pakistan sports were banned, it could have pushed back our sports far behind.” He said the IOC had been observing all the problems which were being faced by Olympic movement and it would take some important decisions in this regard in its upcoming meeting.  “I have been trying to prevent Pakistan sports from ban but some people, who claim to be sports lovers and promoters, are trying to damage Pakistan and POA’s image internationally. They must think about the country and its sports instead of gaining their own personal interests and benefits,” he added.

He termed the Interim Olympic Committee a bogus one which had no legal status so their announcement of holding National Games once again was very ridiculous. “National Games were held in December 2012 in Lahore and Pakistan Wapda won these Games and received Quaid-e-Azam Trophy after becoming national champions,” he added.  To another query regarding the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) status, Arif said: “The matter of the PCF regarding the affiliation with International Cycling Federation (ICF) will be resolved soon and right now, Khawaja Idrees Haider-led PCF is affiliated with the POA.” “We always respect and honour Supreme Court of Pakistan and other honourable courts. The Supreme Court had already given its verdict about the POA that this policy is not applicable as far as the POA was concerned. But some people are explaining the  Court’s order in a wrong way,” Arif concluded.