LAHORE: Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan has said that he has no differences with the government but some persons, having vested interests, have misguided the government to achieve their own goals. Talking to reporters after conclusion of the prize distribution ceremony of the two-day 60th National Weightlifting Championship here on Thursday, Arif said the POA was finalising the contingent for the upcoming Commonwealth Games-2014 in couple of days and it would write a letter to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to hold training camps for the players so that a strong contingent could be fielded in the Glasgow Games. “If the government fails to hold the camps then the respective federations and the POA will hold them using their limited resources,” he added.
WAPDA won the National Weightlifting Championships after winning six gold medals out of 8 body weight categories wile Higher Education Commission (HEC) received the runners-up trophy. Arif said the Pakistan weightlifters were close to winning medals at international level. “And if they are provided with better training opportunities, they could earn medals for the country.” He said Mohammad Shahzad of Pakistan WAPDA had broken a 14-years old record in the 56kgs in this championship and the POA would support him to represent the country in the Commonwealth Games and other sports events. Shahzad lifted a total weight of 252kgs to break the previous record of Ishtiaq Ghafoor, which he set in the year 2000 by lifting a weight of 250kgs.
To a query, Arif said according to the list of the IOC, Munawar Baseer’s body of the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) was affiliated with the International Cycling Federation. “But in the ongoing National Cycling Championships, the PCF invited Akram Sahi as POA President to inaugurate the event, which was in violation of the IOC’s decision of not recognising Akram Sahi. “The POA will inform the International Cycling Federation and the IOC in this regard.” He said Munawar’s body by itself had decided that it did not want to remain affiliated with the IOC’s recognised POA (led by Arif Hasan), then, how he could grant it affiliation. Responding to a question, Arif said if Akram Sahi was ready to quit as President of his own faction and in case the sports were being damaged to this rivalry then: “I will leave it on you to decide whether the games are being affected or not.”
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