ISLAMABAD - The only highlight of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) 80th executive committee meeting was regularization of services of its employees, who are daily wagers for the last several years, otherwise, it was just a wastage of time, as not a single main sports related agenda was discussed in the meeting.

The meeting was presided over by Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mina Riaz Hussain Pirzada here at Liaqat Gymnasium Thursday which continued for more than three hours. It was cancelled thrice as first, it was announced the meeting would be held in April, then May 5 was set next date and finally it took place on Thursday. Instead of starting the meeting at 10am, it was started at 3pm. The journalists kept on waiting for several hours outside Liaqat Gymnasium, but no one was there to offer them at least chairs, as they were left to face hot sun and humid conditions. Despite Riaz had promised earlier the journalists would be given access to the meeting, but nothing was done practically.

The minister was completely unaware of poor state of affairs of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and when he was asked about the fast declining squash, the minister was unable to answer to any question and said: “I am unaware of the entire situation.” What a shame! A person, who is running the IPC ministry, is completely unaware of ground realities and worst performances right under his nose.

When this scribe asked the minister about Aamir Atlas Khan, who had won the Asian Senior Individual Squash title after a gap of 15 years and he was not considered by the PSF to defend his title, the question once again bewildered the minister who had no answer in this regard.

To a query regarding a whopping Rs 1 million special grant to former national ladies champion Sarah Mehboob, while on the other hand, Prime Minister had promised Aamir a plot in federal capital, the minister replied: “We would send this amount to her university in the US and would sign a bound with Sarah that she would make herself available for the country whenever Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) requires her services.”

When asked the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was seeking meeting with the prime minister for almost a year and about their special grant, Riaz said: “The meeting will soon take place and I am sorry we didn’t help the PHF despite Akhtar Rasool, Rana Mujahid and head coach Shahnaz Shiekh doing wonders for the country. They had given very reasonable results in the past few months and Pakistan hockey is back on right track now. I have asked Rana Mujahid to submit detailed report how much they require for Korean series and Olympic qualifiers. We have also asked the POA to shoulder some burden, and I would talk to multi-nationals, banks and others to lend a helping hand to the PHF. Even Rs 350 million is not enough for the national sports, they deserve more than that.”

To a query regarding parallel federations, Riaz said: “We have almost settled that long standing issue and the remaining will be resolved soon. We will not entertain fake federations, as we can’t afford risking international ban. Only those federations will be recognised, who are affiliated with international bodies.”

Rubbishing the rumors about contesting of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) elections, Riaz declined them and said: “I am a minister and I don’t need to get involved in the federation elections. We are not backing anyone and the one, who wins the elections, will be acceptable to us.” To a query regarding about next years’ POA elections, Riaz replied the person, who would win the elections through proper procedure, would be duly recognized.

When asked about PSB’s permanent Director General appointment, the minister replied: “We will follow the court orders.” When asked about all the four PSB centers are running without directors for the past several years and persons working as DDG for the last several years were not promoted, Riaz replied: “The issue will be resolved soon and promotions will be granted to the deserving ones.” It is pertinent to mention here that number of employees who are working in the PSB have long been seeking and deserving for promotions but due to personal liking disliking, the deserving employees have been deprived of their due rights.