ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s appointed performance-evaluating committee has recommended fresh elections in the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).
The committee was constituted on the recommendations of the high-profile Committee headed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif which was formed under the direct orders of PM Shehbaz who is also the patron-in-chief of PHF.
Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) director general Shoaib Khoso was appointed head of the committee which includes former hockey stalwarts, Akhtar Rasool Chaudhry, Shahnaz Sheikh, and Islahuddin Siddiqui.
The findings of the Performance Evaluation Committee have already been sent to the Ministry for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) for submission to the prime minister.
Following a series of meetings, the PHF Evaluation Committee recommended: a) It is evident from the overall performance of the Pakistan Hockey team that there is a marked decline in the ranking of the PHF as the Pakistan national team ranking stands at No16 at the world level which was at No.6 at the start of a period in question. Hockey as a sport also deteriorated which shows the poor performance of PHF as a Federation. The financial support of Rs.975, 712, 573/ (by the federal government only) during the period proved counterproductive; b) The Committee observed that PHF did not cooperate with the committee regarding the provision of information/data; c) Since the PHF is not cooperating, therefore, it is imperative to remove the current PHF setup. The year 2023 is very important as the Asian Games are scheduled which leads to the qualification of the Olympic Games 2024.
After thorough deliberation and discussion on the aforementioned observations, during the meeting, the committee unanimously recommended that as per legal framework, the prime minister being the patron-in-chief of PHF may call for free and fair election of the PHF and may nominate an interim committee for at least six months.
The interim arrangement will help in scrutinizing all the clubs and establishing the voting right of the new clubs.
And to ensure free and fair elections of the PHF as per its constitution.
The committee conducted the audit of the PHF for the period from 27th August 2015 to 14th May 2022.
In a detailed summary that has also been sent to the PM, High Profile Committee, and Ministry of IPC, the Committee added that the PSB de-notified following office-bearers of the PHF due to the completion of their four-year term on 14-05-2022; l) Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar – President; ii) Shahbaz Ahmed – Secretary General; iii) Muhammad Ikhlaq – Treasurer.
Asif Bajwa was nominated as Secretary General for a term in 2019 for the intervening period after the resignation of Shahbaz Ahmed which expired on 14-05-2022 along with other-bearers. The defunct President of PHF (Brig. (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar) appointed Syed Haider Hussain as Secretary General of PHF and convened an elective meeting to initiate the process of the election of PHF. Reportedly, the PHF elections were taken place and new office bearers assumed charge of their offices without the participation of the observer of PSB. The PM had constituted a committee on the affairs of the PHF under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Defense along with the Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination.