islamabad - Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Pirzada wants his yes-man Akhtar Ganjera to continue as Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General even after his retirement on February 28.

It is strange that the IPC minister couldn’t find a single suitable person in the entire PSB for next Director General slot except Ganjera, who is likely to get extension. Pirzada managed to form a four-member committee, which will submit its recommendations for the next PSB DG.

It was never witnessed in the past, as it is the PM’s authority to nominate the PSB DG. But the IPC minister is eager to get extension for his yes-man, ignoring the facts that Ganjera has several investigations pending against him, corruption charges of serious nature and three-month suspension on PM orders.

The IPC minister first managed to use his powers and got the PSB executive committee backing of giving extension to Ganjera, a step, which was never witnessed in the history of PSB. Pirzada is trying every trick in his pocket to ensure Ganjera continue as PSB DG.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on IPC meeting was held under the chair of chairman Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan Tuesday here at Parliament House. Besides IPC minister Riaz Pirzada, Tahira Bokhari, Rana M Hayat Khan, Dr Mehreen Razzaq Bhutto, Dr Ramesh Kumar, Siraj M Khan, Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, Mujahid Ali, Sabiha Nazeer, Engineer M Usman, IPC secretary Syed Abu M Akif, additional secretary M Ashraf, deputy secretary M Fayyaz-ul-Haq, PSB DG Akhtar Ganjera and PHF secretary Shahbaz Senior were also present during the meeting.

The IPC minister managed to include the names of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan Baloch, who also belongs to Sargodha, Siraj M Khan, Sabiha Nazeer and Saeed Ahmed Minhas in the committee, who will send their recommendations for the next PSB DG.

Abdul Qahar paid tributes to Ganjera for doing wonderful job as PSB DG and played active role for promotion of sports. Shafqat Baloch said: “Only the person, who knows about sports, should be next DG.”

Pirzada said Ganjera did a fantastic job and nobody is better than him for DG slot. He informed the committee that three names were sent to the PM for next PSB DG but none of them was able for the slot. “I will conduct a meeting with IPC secretary to remove flaws in the system. I am ready to make amendments in law, so able person must land the post.”

Shahbaz Senior said unless the national hockey centre is formed to train and educate kids and youth and they are provided with jobs, Pakistan hockey can’t get back to winning ways. “We have submitted our recommendations to the IPC ministry. Hockey is dead at school and college level and youth is paying full attention towards adopting cricket as professional career.

“The World XI tour to Pakistan will help revive hockey. Now we are about to launch Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) soon. We are working tirelessly to improve standard of hockey and trying to find fresh sponsors for hockey revival,” he added.

Shafqat Hayat Khan paid tributes to PHF for inviting international players and Hall of Fame to Pakistan and hope it will continue in future too. “Hockey is our national game and it is at the brink.” He recommended academies to be established at district and divisional level and like cricket, the hockey talent hunt programme must be arranged. He requested the IPC ministry to ensure hefty funds for the PHF, so hockey may get boost.

Siraj M Khan stressed upon the need of establishing hockey grounds at school and college level. “New schools should only be allowed, if they promise to have hockey grounds.”

Pirzada said they are establishing another hockey stadium, which would add to Naseer Bunda Stadium. “We will also establish hockey academy in Islamabad and from now on, the camps will be held in Islamabad.”

He also informed the committee that Davis Cup tie against South Korea will be held in Islamabad. He was of the view that every housing society must have playing grounds and the inter-school and college competitions must be revived again.

The IPC secretary was off the view that cricket is popular because of multinational companies’ sponsorships. The PHF should work on same pattern and must find new sponsors. He also informed the committee that the camps for Asian Games are about to start at the PSB.