Pakistani athlete Liaquat Ali warms up during a training session at the Jinnah Stadium Sports Complex in Islamabad. — AFP/File

Pakistani athlete Liaquat Ali warms up during a training session at the Jinnah Stadium Sports Complex in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Following ordering audit of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the federal government, as a step forward, has decided to hold audit of the 2013 National Games on which Rs130 million (approximately) were spent.

“I have directed the Sports Board to conduct audit of the National Games held in 2013,” said Ejaz Chaudhry, federal secretary, Ministry of Inter-provincial Coord­ination.

The ministry of IPC, oversees sports in the country. The secretary said the audit will be completed within few weeks.

After Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s recent order for audit of PHF’s last five years, there were growing demands in sports circle for special audit of the National Games.

The then Games were conducted by a five member committee comprising Rana Mujahid, now PHF secretary, Asif Bajwa, President Basketball Federation and others.

The taxpayers’ money spent on the 2013 National Games was still unaudited and many believe a huge chunk of amount fell victim to corruption.

Sources in the PSB said that despite repeated attempts, the committee, which organised the National Games, was not ready to provide expenditure statement for auditing.

However, they had submitted expenditure report recently, which according to the sources, was unsatisfactory.

The Games were held in 2013 from June 28 to July 4 at the Pakistan Sports Complex here amid controversy of two Pakistan Olympic Associations, one headed by General Arif Hasan and the other by General Akram Sahi.

The PSB was supporting General Sahi at that time and that was why many genuine federations, which were associated with General Arif Hasan-led POA, boycotted the Games.

Besides, spending around 24 million in the name of renovation and maintenance of the Sports Complex, the PSB handed over 106 million rupees to interim committee for holding the Games, which were boycotted by several sports federations.

According to information gleaned by Dawn, the PSB released 106 million in installments. In the first go, it released Rs56 million on June 6 through a cheque bearing number 072582.

Six days later, Rs22 million were released through cheque number 074437. Then, on June 25, Rs2.2 million and Rs24 million were released through cheque numbers 088157 and 088163 respectively.

Some officials of the PSB, while speaking to Dawn and requesting not be named, claimed that several PSB officials and others plundered millions of rupees in the name of the said event.

“The audit of the money spent on the National Games should have been conducted within a few weeks, but so far, everyone is unmoved … I believe, over 50 million rupees were plundered,” claimed another official of the PSB.

Director General Sports Complex, Akhtar Ganjera could not be contacted for his version on this issue, however, four months ago on Dec 26 he had said that despite repeated attempts the organising committee was not providing him expenditure details.

Ganjera, had claimed that in 2013 Amir Hamza Gilani (late) was the DG and he had nothing to do with the said games.

On the other hand, the officials of the PSB said the Games could have been organised with much lesser amount.

“I hope, during special audit, many faces will be unmasked,” said another officer.

It is also relevant to note that the POA headed by retired Gen Arif Hasan organised the National Games in Lahore in 2012 but at that time the PSB refused to acknowledge the Games and decided to hold new edition of the Games in Islamabad.

Ironically, having spent millions of tax payers’ money on the Games in Islamabad and litigation, the PSB last year had to acknowledge Arif Hasan-led POA which is indeed a genuine POA recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The sources further said a few officers, in a bid to swindle public money, had deliberately helped some federations to make a parallel POA.

“Several federations and PSB officers took full advantage from Gen Hasan and Gen Sahi’s fight and looted millions of rupees,” said a senior official of the PSB.

He added the special audit, as ordered by the IPC secretary, will unearth the truth.

Published in Dawn,
Kashif Abbasi


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