ISLAMABAD - Honorary chairperson of Subh-e-Nau (SN) Shahida Kausar has called on Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Director General Pakistan Sports Board to look into PTF’s incessant harassment and defamation drive towards the federation. 

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Tuesday, Shahida said: “We have written a letter to the IPC minister apprising him about the ‘inappropriate and non-professional behaviour meted out by the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) against Subh-e-Nau.”

The reasons have been detailed in the letter for writing to the minister, who also acts as president of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). The SN had exhausted all possible avenues to resolve the matter, with no positive results. The SN mentioned that the main objective of writing to the minister was to seek help in ‘resolving matters amicably, in the best interest of the sport’.

She said the PTF had informed about the changes in its rules at the last hour in an SN tournament, when players had already traveled. Later, the PTF tried to take over the SN's event itself, when they resisted, a 'ban' was leveled against them, which was stated by the PTF to be in response to a press report.

Shahida stated that the six-month 'ban' was imposed on unsubstantiated grounds, and a transgression of the right of a private organisation, which was against the ethics of sports, as it never gave a chance to the SN to clarify its position, and was surreptitiously undertaken.

“I also wrote a separate letter to the PTF president and questioned whether the PTF's code of conduct, supposedly the basis of the ban, was superior to the country's constitutional right of freedom of speech. The letters have so far remained unanswered, with the PTF issuing wavered statements in the press, instead of proper correspondence as per business rules,” she added.  Although the ban lapsed on May 5, 2013, the PTF has created bureaucratic hurdles to gain time, by deferring the SN's matters to the general body's annual general meeting. On the other hand, the SN has stated that it has no qualms in placing the matter to the general body, but the PTF is overstepping its mandate, since this does not fall in the domain of the general body and the PTF.

Shahida also stated that the PTF was following a dual policy, as none of the recent tournaments followed the PTF's new rules, which were only applied to the SN. No ITF qualified referee, or even a PTF official was present in RY Khan and Peshawar tournaments.

The SN chairperson has urged the minister to take into account the continued rash accusations, defamatory and inflammatory comments, and delaying tactics by the PTF. Any affiliate federation's irresponsible and non-professional conduct reflects badly on the PSB, while federations should be reminded of their facilitator role in sports. “The SN's response has been straightforward and dignified, which will continue to be so. We will continue to promote sports for children, like we did in the past,” Shahida concluded.