KARACHI: Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan has proposed the name of Justice (retd) Qazi Ehsanullah Qureshi as chairman of the election commission for the remaining process of POA’s elections.
The POA’s chief was forced to propose the name after the already appointed chairman Election Commission Ehsan Mani said he would not be available on the election day — January 23 — due to his commitment abroad.
The POA has sought the opinion of its general council members on the proposed name. “The general council of POA is hereby apprised about the unavailability of the current chairman of Election Commission of POA Ehsan Mani for the conduct of the POA’s elections scheduled on 23rd January 2016 due to his certain personal pressing commitments abroad,” a POA press release said on Friday.
“In the meanwhile calling the general council meeting of POA for filling this vacancy is not viable. In accordance to rule-1 of the Election Rules of POA notified vide No. POA-022/GCM/1140 dated 06th January, 2016, the President POA proposes the name of Justice (retd) Qazi Ehsaan Ullah Qureshi (former Justice Peshawar High Court and Chief of Northern Court) as Chairman of the Election Commission for the remaining process of POA’s elections scheduled on 23rd January, 2016,” it said.
The final decision shall be notified once majority vote is attained or otherwise, the POA said.
Mani, a former president of International Cricket Council (ICC), on January 4 informed the POA about his engagement abroad.
“I regret to advise you that due to a long-standing commitment I will not be in Pakistan during the week of POA elections. While I remain available on the phone and by email, in view of my unavailability to be physically present I would be obliged if alternate arrangements could be made to nominate a suitable person to chair the Appellate Bench and the elections,” Mani said in a letter to Pervez Ahmed, the secretary of Election Commission of POA.
“I would be grateful if you could knidly advise the president of POA,” Mani said.
Meanwhile, the POA confirmed that in its general council meeting in Lahore on December 30 in pursuance of rule-1 of the election rules the POA had accepted the resignation of its senior legal advisor Ali Raza submitted by him as member of the commission for ensuring transparency at all levels.
The members of the election commission are former vice-president of Pakistan Railways Sports Board Saeed Iqbal Khan, former secretary of Army Sports Directorate Lt Col (retd) Khalid Hussain and former hockey Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hasan.
It has also been learnt that the POA may face resistance from some members of the general body on the election rules.
A POA official told ‘The News’ on Friday that International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) would send their observers to monitor the elections.
However, he was quick to add that their names had not yet been confirmed. “We will get their names soon,” the official said.
It is expected that the POA’s sitting chief Arif Hasan would be elected for a fourth successive four-year tenure.
The POA’s elections were due by February 4 as per rules. In the last tenure, the POA had to fight against the government on certain clauses of the national sports policy. The government ultimately back-tracked and reconciled with the POA after it signed an agreement with the IOC in Lausanne in 2014 summer.
A few days ago, the POA got back its Olympic House from Akram Sahi group under an agreement signed with the IOC.