Mr. PM national game is at the verge of annihilation

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Mr. PM national game is at the verge of annihilation

The Azlan Shah Hockey Cup in Malaysia is fast approaching, slated for the first week of May. However, there’s still uncertainty looming over which team will represent Pakistan in the tournament: the one currently undergoing rigorous training in Islamabad or the contingent stationed in Karachi

Ansar M Bhatti

ISLAMABAD: In the fabric of a nation’s identity, few threads are as vibrant and enduring as its national game. It symbolizes unity, heritage, and the collective spirit of its people. Yet, behind the cheers of victory and the camaraderie of competition, there lies a sobering reality: the imminent threat of annihilation facing our national game.

The roots of this crisis run deep, stemming from a variety of factors that have gradually eroded the foundation of our national game. Economic constraints, dwindling interest among the youth, and neglect from authorities have all contributed to its decline. What was once a source of national pride and passion has now been reduced to a mere shadow of its former self.

At the heart of this predicament lies a lack of vision and commitment from those in positions of power. The custodians of our national game, including policymakers and sports administrators, have failed to institute meaningful reforms and initiatives to revitalize its dwindling fortunes. Instead, bureaucratic inertia and short-sighted decision-making have allowed the decay to fester unchecked.

Presently, Pakistan’s hockey landscape is divided into two factions, each asserting its authority over the Pakistan Hockey Federation. Tariq Bugti, appointed by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, helms one faction, while the other is led by Karachi MP Ms. Shehla Raza. This schism marks an unprecedented occurrence in Pakistan hockey, with two parallel federations vying for legitimacy. Consequently, players find themselves grappling with uncertainty, unsure of which federation to heed for guidance.

In recent times, the Pakistan Football Federation found itself in turmoil, resulting in a ban from FIFA due to internal strife among its officials. Unless significant improvements occur, the Pakistan Hockey Federation could find itself in a similar predicament, as it remains under close scrutiny by the IHF.

The Azalan Shah Hockey Cup in Malaysia is fast approaching, slated for the first week of May. However, there’s still uncertainty looming over which team will represent Pakistan in the tournament: the one currently undergoing rigorous training in Islamabad or the contingent stationed in Karachi. With the departure for the event set for May 2 at the latest, or possibly by May 4, clarity is urgently needed to ensure proper preparations and logistics for the participating team.

Given that sports administration falls under the jurisdiction of the Inter-provincial Coordination ministry led by Ahsan Iqbal, it is crucial for the Ministry to address the current situation. Recently, Ahsan Iqbal received a briefing regarding the status of the hockey federation, wherein it was emphasized that Tariq Bugti is the rightful President of the Federation. However, an official communication from the Ministry is still awaited, leading to unease among both players and fans. Clarifying the Ministry’s stance promptly would not only alleviate concerns but also foster transparency and confidence within the sporting community.

The Prime Minister being the Chief Patron of the hockey federation ought to look into the matter personally. Ultimately, the fate of our national game rests in our hands. It is a reflection of who we are as a nation and what we aspire to be. Let us rise to the occasion and stand united in our resolve to preserve and protect the legacy of our national game for posterity. The time to act is now, before it’s too late.