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  • Pakistan Olympics Row Subsiding


    (ATR) Pakistan's National Olympic Committee will hold elections on Jan. 23 under the watch of the IOC and Olympic Council of Asia.

    Syed Arif Hasan (Getty Images)
    Syed Arif Hasan, current president of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), told media this week that he will seek re-election for a fourth time.

    Last year, Pakistan faced suspension from the IOC after two rival organizations claimed to be the legitimate National Olympic Committee. The impasse stemmed from disputed 2012 elections.

    Hasan won election to the POA presidency in 2012. A rival, government-aligned POA appeared a few months later claiming legitimacy.

    In October of 2012, a Lahore High Court ruled that the 2012 elections were invalid, but said the only rightful Pakistan NOC was the one Hasan was leading. Soon after the court's ruling, the IOC said the Pakistani government must support the Hasan-led POA or face suspension from the organization.

    During a meeting in Lausanne last year, IOC and Pakistani sports leaders reached an agreement that would preserve the autonomy of the POA.

    "We have sent invitation letters to the Athletics Federation of Pakistan, the Pakistan Judo Federation, and the Pakistan Cycling Federation for participation in the upcoming elections," Hasan said during a press conference this week.

    "The first clause of the agreement has already been implemented as Akram Sahi group handed over keys of the Olympic House to the POA a few days ago in the presence of IOC and OCA observers." 

    He added, "But they still have not withdrawn the frivolous cases filed in different courts of law against the POA. They have to fulfil all the conditions in the agreement.

    Once they fulfill the agreement, these national federations -- judo, athletics and cycling -- are likely to be re-admitted into the Olympic fold after approval of the POA General Council."

    Hasan also told media this week that Pakistan will participate in next month's South Asian Games. The Indian cities of Guwahati and Shillong will host the event, Feb. 5-16.

    Written by Nicole Bennett

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