LAHORE: The ongoing tussle for power in the Pakistan Hockey Feder­ation intensified on Monday when Tariq Hussain Bugti, who took the vote of confidence from the divided Congress on March 21 in Islamabad, sacked a number of officials believed to be close to his rival group.

Bugti visited the PHF office in Lahore and sacked all the officials, who had a soft corner for the rival group — headed by PPP MNA Shehla Raza — who took the vote of confidence from her like-minded members of the PHF Congress meeting held in Karachi on March 19.

The employees who were sacked included Ali Abbas (executive secretary), Khalid Bashir (administrator) and Qadeer Bashir (assistant admin).

Tariq said that he had also registered an FIR against Haider Hussain, who is working as secretary under Shehla-headed federation.

“We have got an FIR registered against Haider for taking home the PHF office documents and using the official PHF email [account] correspondence with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Asia Hockey Federation (AHF),” Tariq said while addressing a press conference alongside PHF secretary Rana Muj­ahid in Lahore on Monday.

When highlighted that he had sent a letter to the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) on Dec 28 last year for placing all the PHF presidents and secretaries who had worked from 2008 to 2022 on the exit control list and now he was working with the same officials, Bugti said the investigation into the registered cases with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would continue and if anyone was punished in those cases, he would not be allowed to work with the PHF.

It may be mentioned here that Mujahid, Asif Bajwa, Shahbaz Senior as secretaries and Qasim Zia, Akhtar Rasool and Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar as presidents had worked in the PHF from 2008 to 2022.

Tariq further said that show-cause notices had been issued to the Karachi Hockey Association office-bearers for their “unconstitutional activities against the PHF”.

According to Tariq, he was expecting a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after April 2 in which he would request him to support the PHF financially insisting “huge funds are required to put the federation’s affairs back on track”.

He said that Mujahid would finalise a programme of hockey activities to present it to the PM.

To a question, Tariq said that the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) had issued the notification of his election as PHF president while the Pakistan Olympic Associ­ation (POA) had also endorsed his election by attending the March 21 Congress in Islamabad.

He said that the PHF bank accounts had also been restored and the staff salaries due for the last seven months, would also be cleared soon.

“The arrears of the Pakistan’s senior and junior teams will also be paid soon.”

Later on Monday, Bugti and Mujahid went to the Olympic House and met POA secretary general Khalid Mahmood.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2024

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