ISLAMABAD - Former Olympian Shahbaz Ahmad Senior has said that the proper patronage and support of government is must to save Pakistan hockey.

Talking to The Nation, Shahbaz said: “Why should I hang on to Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary post, when I can’t help Pakistan hockey. I will not take back my resignation unless the Prime Minister and IPC Minister give me assurance of their full support to Pakistan hockey, which baldy needs funds and best facilities to regain it lost glory.”

He said Brig Khokhar is the best person to take Pakistan hockey forward. “If the government provides the PHF all the basic and essential faculties, Brig Khokhar is capable enough to steady Pakistan hockey ship and take it to new heights.”

Shahbaz also confirmed that IPC Secretary Akbar Durrani has asked him the reason of his resignation and he replied: “I informed him that the government’s attitude and lack of support resulted in my resignation. I have taken over the secretaryship to contribute towards Pakistan hockey, not to get just post. I have not taken back the resignation yet, but I have come to meet IPC secretary.

“I have a lot of respect for Brig Khokhar, who has put in tremendous efforts for Pakistan hockey. He has flatly refused to accept my resignation but it doesn’t make any sense of keeping hold to the post, when I can’t deliver. The previous IPC secretary has inflicted huge damages to national cause and particularly to hockey. We have requested Jameel Ahmed to arrange meeting with IPC Minister to get the funds issue resolved, but he remained unmoved. I hope the PM will take stern action against Jameel and all those, who are responsible for inviting FIH wrath,” he added.

“If govt doesn’t want us to carry on the good work, they should inform us, we will step aside. But they should give us respect, we have earned. I am always ready to help Pakistan hockey and will take back my resignation, if the government promises to address root-causes,” Shahbaz concluded.