A goon squad of nearly two dozen people, some of them carrying firearms, led by a deposed PCO judge of the high court, Khawaja Farooq Saeed, and a serving DIG of Police, Zafar Abbas Lak, stormed on the Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) headquarters and stiff-armed its way into the offices and harassed the handful of POA personnel in the premises on Monday afternoon.
With the marauding gangsters gaining in numbers quickly, the POA officials were herded into an enclosed space while the illegal occupation of the POA record and offices were carried out.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference in a borrowed space the POA President Lt. Gen. (Retd) Arif Hasan appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take notice of this outrageous illegal act of a handful of people for it is likely to bring disrepute and embarrassment to the country – along with serious repercussions.
“Such a thing has never happened to any National Olympic Committee anywhere in the world. The POA led by me is duly recognized by the continental and world bodies – the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). The IOC had already issued dire warnings of which the federal government and the Pakistan Sports Board were informed directly and through us by the global body but those warning have fallen on deaf ears.
“Our case is in the Supreme Court. The Islamabad High Court had already issued a restraining order for status quo. This is contempt of court, but these people intent on hijacking the POA already facing seven contempt of court charges, still brazenly carried out this trespass and illegal occupation. The IOC had already warned us of banning Pakistan from all international contests. The POA has tried to avoid that consequence for it is only going to bring us ignominy and opprobrium as a country. Now these people have perhaps made it inevitable”, said Gen. Arif Hasan.
When asked about what recourse was the POA going to take, Gen. Arif categorically said, “the POA would face this lawlessness with the force of law, by firmly staying on the right side of law and seeking legal recourse. We could have brought our own people, the genuine representatives of Pakistan’s sports in big numbers to resist this forced takeover, but we didn’t do so. But we would only go by the law and legal action. It may take us longer to get justice but I’m sure we would get it”.
To another question, whether an FIR would be lodged with the police, Gen. Arif replied in the affirmative.
On what could have triggered this outrageous act, Gen. Arif said: “These people are not recognized by anyone. Even the PSB’s observers, despite the organization being in cahoots with these shady characters, in their signed report didn’t endorse their sham elections on the basis of misrepresentation and fraud.”
The POA President concluded his press conference with these remarks: “One of the perpetrators was once a high court judge and the other is a serving police office of a high-rank. And look what they have done”.