Lahore-Pakistan, Feb 04, 2012: Incumbent Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan`s group won elections of the association on Saturday for the third consecutive term, defeating two rivals Major-General (retd) Akram Sahi and Qasim Zia. The sitting president got 48.5 votes and his closest rival Gen Sahi bagged 32.5 votes while Qasim remained third with 21 votes. A house of 103 voters used their right to vote for the first time in the history of the POA to elect new office-bearers for a four-year term.
According to rules, Arif`s panel was elected without any voting after his win in the run for president. As per the results, Wapda`s Khalid Mahmood was elected as secretary-general of the POA and Mohammad Shafiq of the Pakistan Handball Federation (PHF) as treasurer. Before the start of the polls, Gen Sahi raised objection to the right of one vote each given to the sitting president and POA secretary (Abdul Khaliq Khan) which was overruled by International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Jerome Poivey who was present on the occasion to monitor the proceeding. However, Qasim did not object.
Arif later on vowed during a news conference that he would take everybody on board without any prejudice. `The elections are over and now there is no grouping and I am thankful to Gen Sahi and Qasim Zia for making the entire process smooth, the new POA president maintained. `Certainly, we have done mistakes in the past, but we will try our best to promote the culture of sports by learning from our mistakes,` he added.
Answering a question, Gen Hasan said he SPORTS would announce his programme in connection with promotion of sports after two weeks. He said that it was the first time that elections were held in the POA, adding that it does no harm for any candidate to desire for contesting POA polls. It may be mentioned here that Gen Sahi had full support of Army while Qasim, who is also Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president, had backing from the ruling Pakistan People`s Party.
Moreover, the biggest stakeholders in sports like Army, PHF and Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) could not get any seat in the elected panel. Meanwhile, IOC representative Jerome Poivey was all praise for smooth conduct of the polls besides being impressed with the rules of elections. Talking to reporters, Jerome, who arrived here on Saturday morning to conduct the elections, said he would also advise the IOC to incorporate some rules of elections in its own constitution. Haider Farman, who was representing the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), also hailed the entire process of elections and congratulated the POA family for successfully holding the polls.
New POA office-bearers:
President: Syed Arif Hasan
Vice-Presidents: Syed Aqil Shah, Chaudhary Mohammad Yaqub, Shaukat Javed, Doda Khan Bhutto, Kamran Lashari, Saeed Iqbal Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad Tabassum, Mohammad Afzal Awan, Abdul Khaliq Khan, Fatima Lakhani.
Secretary-General: Mohammad Khalid Mahmood, Treasurer: Mohammad Shafiq.
Associate Secretaries: Mohammad Jahangir, Zulifqar Ali Butt, Hafiz Imran Butt, Hafeezullah Khan, Haider Lehri, Veena Salman Masud.
Executive Committee Members: Khawar Pervaiz Shah, Mohammad Rashid Malik, Ahmad Yahya Khan, Wajid Ali Chaudhary, Sumera Sattar, Ms. Saba Shamim Akhtar, Nargis Rahimtoola.
Courtesy: Daily Dawn Karachi