Govt reveals its ‘real stance’ against IOC on sports policy
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Saturday finally made public the documents regarding its ‘real stance’ against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which showed that Pakistan is firm in implementing the Supreme Court verdict relating to National Sports Policy 2005 which bars sports officials from holding the office for a third consecutive term.
However, the documents also indicated that the IOC has neither warned nor threatened Pakistan at any stage with suspension of the country’s Olympic membership.
The IOC had called Pakistan government and Pakistan’s Olympic Committee for a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland at its headquarters after the dispute emerged between the national Olympic committee (POA) and the government following a Supreme Court verdict barring sports officials from holding office for a third tenure.
In its stance, a copy of which was made available to Dawn, a senior government functionary, joint secretary Abdul Ghaffar Khan, noted before the IOC: “The sports bodies use public funds, government’s grants, and enjoy benefits like tax and duty exemptions; they are subject to rules and regulations enforced to ensure transparency, accountability and judicious use of the taxpayers’ money.
“The Supreme Court of Pakistan has also endorsed the right of the Federal government to enact laws and devise the sports policy. It has also held the laws and polices are applicable to sports bodies affiliated with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).
“Presently, almost 80 per cent of the federations (34 out of 42) affiliated with the PSB and their key office-bearers are excited to see the Supreme Court judgment implemented. As many as seventeen sports federations have objected to the raising of this issue at the IOC.
“As regards taking the said issue to the IOC, we [the Pakistan government] are of the view that sanctity and supremacy of the general council of POA have been undermined and overlooked. The issue did not merit being taken to the IOC and could have been very easily handled by calling a general council meeting of the POA.
“The government of Pakistan has been unnecessarily dragged to the court of the IOC for which, as a Pakistani, one should neither draw any pleasure that it implied ‘lack of confidence’ in the policies of the government of the country which we represent at the international forum.
“We support the tenure restrictions for office-bearers of POA and national sports federations being in line with IOC Charter clause 19.2.2, 19.2.3 and 20.1. We also support implementation of the National Sports Policy 2005, in true letter and spirit.”
The clause 19.2.2 says: “In the case of a member having completed two successive terms of office pursuant to Rule 19.2.2 above, he may be elected again as member of the IOC executive board after a minimum period of two years. This does not apply to the election for the office of President for which there is no waiting period.”
Whereas 20.1 says, “If the president is elected for a term of eight years, renewable once for four years.”
The government said: “Tenure restrictions for the tenure of office-bearers of sports federations/associations are also contained in Indian Sports Polices (Article IX, the Sports Code of India).”
Meanwhile, the secretary of the Inter-Provincial Coordination, Anisul Hasnain Musavi, on behalf of Pakistan, sent its reply to IOC’s NOC Relations Director Mr Pere Miro, over a new letter which sought a clear statement from Pakistan.
The secretary noted: “The federations present in the meeting were briefed about the concerns which you [IOC] have raised.
They were also updated on the provisions of National Sports Policy 2005 in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The federations were asked to find out a way forward which is in consonance with the IOC Charter and conform to the laws of the land. Federations are also urged to implement the same within two months.”
Secretary Musavi said: “With these two decisions it is hoped that concerns of the IOC indicated in joint communiqué stand addressed.”