New IPC minister calls POA officials to discuss SAG preparation

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Apr 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Unlike his predecessor where stakeholders were never given an opportunity to share their side of the story, the newly appointed Inter-provincial Minister (IPC) Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari has decided to have an inclusive discussion in order to formulate a joint strategy for the promotion of sports in the country.

In an exclusive talk with ‘The News’ at his office in Islamabad Saturday, the Minister said that the initial briefing was just an informal and introductory one.

“I have decided to take the briefing from the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) next week and also plan to hold briefings with other stakeholders in an effort to formulate a joint strategy for the promotion of sports development in the country. With the South Asian Games approaching fast, there is a need to host the event in a professional manner,” Mazari said.

In absence of POA President Lt Gen (rtd) Arif Hasan who is out of the country, Mohammad Khalid Mehmood, secretary POA is expected to attend the briefing on Monday or Tuesday. The meetings with other stakeholders are also expected within a week.

On Saturday during the introductory briefing, Secretary IPC Mohsin Mushtaq briefed the minister about the operations and mandate of this ministry and explained the roles of various sections and wings under IPC. Furthermore the minister was informed about the various programs currently underway in the ministry.

With the organogram of the Ministry, the budgets and development expenditures of the assigned organisations to the ministry were also briefed to the new minister.

The PSB and its DG Col ® Asif Zaman were also introduced to the IPC Minister and an overview of the various schemes was given. Besides, salient features of the new National Sports Policy were also shared with Ehsan Mazari.

Furthermore, the IPC Minister was briefed on the cash reward policy for the athletes and the requirement to review it.

Ehsan Mazari stressed on expediting the work on various initiatives and asked for separate detailed meetings on various important issues to hit the ground running. He said that sports and tourism are integral to the promotion of the “softer image of the country” and they have to leverage whatever resources available to enhance it.

Secretary IPC also informed the new minister on the 14th South Asian Games preparation and football crisis in the country.

Since the Minister had previously served as Special Assistant to CM Sindh on Youth and Sports, he was well versed with the sporting landscape of the country and knew many issues and stakeholders already.

The functions, roles and mandate of PSB, Federal Land Commission, Nation Internship Program, Department of Tourist Services, IPCC, Gun and Country Club, and Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council were also discussed in the meeting.