We are well prepared for IOC hearing, says govt official
ISLAMABAD, Jan 17: The government of Pakistan has prepared a strong case in its defence for the upcoming International Olympic Committee (IOC) hearing and intends to thoroughly clarify its position on the issues raised by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) relating to interference in national Olympic committee’s affairs, Dawn learnt on Thursday. The IOC hearing is scheduled to be held in Lausanne on Feb 15.
A source said that the government intends to stoutly defend its position in the key IOC hearing which will also be attended by POA officials.
“We are well-prepared and ready to defend the case for the promotion of Pakistan sports and the matters relating to the Olympic Charter because we respect the Olympic flag and its spirit,” a source at the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination told Dawn.
The POA and federal government are involved in a dispute relating to some clauses mentioned in the National Sports Policy 2005 including the tenure restriction of the office-bearers of national sports federations which bars them from holding office for a third consecutive term.
It is pertinent to mention that in May 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan set aside a judgment of the Lahore High Court relating to National Sports Policy and admitted the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) appeals over tenure restrictions.
Later, when the PSB decided to implement the Supreme Court order, the POA cried foul and accused the federal government of meddling into its affairs which, they said, could lead to the suspension of Pakistan’s Olympic membership by the IOC.
Federal secretary Fareedullah Khan, when asked to comment on the matter, said: “The court order will be implemented in letter and spirit.”
Asked what action the government will be taking on the issue, Fareedullah added: “All I am saying is that the two tenure policy will be implemented and if any one has any doubt he should approach the Supreme Court for a review. As federal government we have to obey the law of the land and the court decision without any iota of doubt in our minds.”
To a question regarding IOC summoning the Pakistan government officials in Lausanne on Feb 15, Fareedullah maintained: “We are very well prepared and our stance is very clear on every issue.
“We want promotion of national sports at every level and also want promotion of the Olympic Charter,” Fareedullah asserted.
“The Pakistan government wants to promote the Olympic movement at the grass-roots level and for that we will go to any extent.”
He, however, added: “The IOC letter has not been received by my ministry. Let it reach my office and as soon as I get it we will ensure that everything is done on merit.”
This would be the second time when the Pakistan government officials will be appearing at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. In June 2012 too, the IOC had called the Pakistan government and POA officials for a meeting to sort out the same dispute.