Fehmida, Ahsan in heated debate over sports project

September 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fahmida Mirza and PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal Monday were involved in a heated debate in the National Assembly over allocation of sports...

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fahmida Mirza and PMLN leader Ahsan Iqbal Monday were involved in a heated debate in the National Assembly over allocation of sports development projects in their constituencies.

Ahsan Iqbal, in a supplementary question during the question hour, said the government had ruined a Rs3 billion mega sports project in Narowal district. “It was the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that had written to the government to allocate budget for completion of the Narowal sports city project,” he claimed. He pointed out that 90pc work on the project had been completed but no progress was made in the last three years. "Astroturf and a synthetics athletics track worth millions of rupees have been damaged and their guarantee has elapsed,” he said.

He said he bet that Pakistan javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem could have won a gold medal in the Olympics had he been given an opportunity to practice at the Narowal sports city project. Responding to his claims, Fahmida Mirza said sports projects in her constituency were worth just Rs200 million whereas he managed the approval of Rs3 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). “It was the right of underdeveloped areas of Sindh, like my constituency, to get such development projects,” she said.

She objected as to why Ahsan Iqbal had raised the issue at different forums, including standing committee meetings. She said the Narowal project was funded from the PSDP despite the fact that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) directed that the project should be sent back to the province as sports had been devolved to provinces as per the 18th Amendment in the Constitution. She also held the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) responsible for a poor state of sports in the country. “The POA management discarded every genuine sports federation and gave membership to fake federations which vote for it,” she alleged. She said the national sports policy draft had been sent to the ministry of law for vetting and it would also be shared with the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the House unanimously passed a condolence resolution to pay tribute to veteran Baloch leader Ataullah Mengal. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan had presented the resolution.



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