POA rejects premise claims of Punjab govt - Pakistan Today

POA rejects premise claims of Punjab govt

The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) rejects the premise and the innuendo of the claims of Mr Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan on the Punjab administration’s behalf in a press conference. The POA’s considered opinion is that it is an attempt to further obfuscate the real issue: the Punjab government’s denying the lawfully elected bodies it had no right to sit on judgment. The Punjab Olympic Association (PbOA) is an elected body affiliated with the POA, and there is no contest with regards to its legitimacy. The fact is that the Punjab administration is being influenced by elements which are not its best friends.
There cannot be any confusion: these are the 32nd National Games. As has been said before, the overwhelming majority of the constituents give it legitimacy, which has been recognized by all participating contingents. As far as the Honourable Supreme Court’s decision is considered, you do not require a legal eagle to sit over it for months. To a trained legal eye, it would take only 10 minutes to decide which way the Honourable Supreme Court’s decision tilts.
Secondly, after the devolution, blaming it on Pakistan Sports Board (which definitely has its own axe to grind in playing the spoiler) is neither here nor there as sport is now pretty much a provincial issue. It is evident from Mr Mashood’s press conference that the Punjab administration was willing to work with the PbOA – without its legitimacy being an issue in the least – if it agreed to make the National Games a part of the Punjab Sports Festival. That the PbOA, with POA’s consent and backing, did not do so was not out of any other consideration but the fact that: first, this was a mere Festival, and the sanctity of the National Games demanded its independent status. Secondly, the Punjab Sports Festival – as the very title suggests – was a provincial gala affair. How could the National Games be made to play second fiddle to it? Then again if legitimacy was an issue then why did the DG SPORTS Punjab offer to support the Games if they were taken to January 2013?. The National Games is a serious affair and not a joke: you cannot postpone it time and again and expect the participating contingents to always accept it. That is why, as Mr Mashood suggests, they could not have been moved to January 2013. “This is indeed sad that with the Quaid-e-Azam’s birth anniversary just a few days away, the Games launched, supported and sponsored by him at a time of serious post-Independence economic hardship remain unsponsored and unsupported by a provincial government which claims to be the heir to his legacy”, said Lt. Gen. (Retd) Arif Hasan HI (M). The President POA quoted the Quaid’s philosophy about Pakistan Youth, which the Quaid expressed most forcefully in a letter he sent to the late Mr. M.A. Khaliq, the Organizing Secretary of the First Pakistan National Games. “Well, we have crossed hurdles and breasted the tape at the ‘Wining Post’, this the people say in smugness. I maintain that we have only run the first lap of marathon relay race. I have passed the baton to others to dash on from lap to lap, determined and dedicated, United and Disciplined, with Faith in themselves and God.. “Your race to destiny shall be calculatingly cluttered with obstacles, and if you have Unity, Faith and Discipline, nothing will ever stop you from becoming sturdy and strong. Strength alone is an effective deterrent to aggression.
“Build leadership on the play fields, and try to become good followers. Remember no one can ever command, who does not learn how to obey. Be a builder. Build for others.”
The President POA further appealed to the Provincial Government: “The City where the the Olympic Movement of the sub-continent was born is today hosting the Games again. It was in 1924, in the then undivided Punjab, Lahore to be precise, that the sub-continent chapter of the Olympic movement was born. The same year, the sub- continent’s first Olympic Games, now known as the National Games, were organised in Lahore. Punjab was the province which won the coveted Quaid- e-Azam trophy in the inaugural edition of the National Games at Karachi which was attended by the Quaid himself.
“I again request the Punjab Government to join us in carrying the legacy of the Quaid forward and remove the obstacles that he spoke of. “Let us unite for the promotion of the values that the Quaid spoke of. Let us rise above, as otherwise it would be a shame that the province and the city which founded the Olympic Movement and held the first Games in the subcontinent is not part of the National Games. “These are likely to become the only National Games in our chequered history to have not been supported by a provincial government. Lest this be misunderstood this is not an appeal for money or making the infrastructure available. We have managed that end of the business. Just be with us for the sake of the youth, the athletes of our country”, he said, warning, “Otherwise the coming 25th of Dec 2012 would be a sad day for the Quaid and his legacy for sports.”



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