LAHORE: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made it clear to Pakistan that the country has to follow international body’s rules otherwise its membership could be suspended next month.

Well-informed sources told Dawn that the IOC in an important meeting with the government’s officials, held at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland last Thursday, reiterated that Pakistan has to fulfil all the commitments made by its previous sports secretary Faridullah Khan in October last year if it wants to avoid IOC suspension.

The IOC after its Executive Board meeting will take a decision whether or not it suspends Pakistan’s membership. The meeting will be held in Lausanne from July 7 to 9.

Federal secretary Ijaz Ahmad and additional secretary Ameer Tariq Zaman represented the government in the Thursday meeting.

POA president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan, Mohammad Yaqoob and IOC member in Pakistan Shahid Ali also attended it.

The government delegation, it is learnt, kept insisting the IOC to allow it to continue with the controversial clause of the National Spots Policy-2005, which does not allow president, secretary and treasurer of any national sports federation to contest the elections for more than two terms of four year each.

However, the delegation agreed to exclude two controversial clauses from the rules of the Pakistan Sports Board under which it is enjoying full control over sports federations.

But, the sources said, the IOC was not ready to deal with the delegation under give and take formula and urged the government to fulfil all the commitments made by the previous secretary till July 6.

The IOC Executive Board had taken the decision of Pakistan’s suspension in its last meeting held in Belek, Turkey in April this year.

However, on the request of the government of Pakistan it continued the dialogue with the country till the next meeting of the Board, which is scheduled in July.

In Belek, the IOC had alleged that the Pakistan government had not kept its promises (made by Faridullah Khan).

The IOC executive board will suspend Pakistan from the Olympic movement at its next meeting in July if the country does not conform with the rules guaranteeing the independence of elected sports officials.

“Suspension would mean that Pakistan athletes could not compete in Olympics. Pakistan Olympic officials would also be barred from international Olympic meetings,” the IOC told the government.

POA and government officials were not available for comments on the latest development when contacted by Dawn.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd , 2014

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