Pakistan’s Olympic chief isn’t going to bow down to the government’s demand to step down. Instead, retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan is looking forward to the challenge.
With members of the Pakistan Olympic Association general council in attendance during a news conference at a local hotel on Monday, POA president Arif joined them from the United States via a video link and said he won’t be stepping down from his post for those “who didn’t perform their duty of preparing the athletes for the Tokyo Olympics”.
After Pakistan’s failure to win a medal in Tokyo, special assistant to the prime minister Shahbaz Gill, alongside Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza held a news conference 10 days ago where they demanded Arif to resign from the post he’s held since 2004.
“The POA is an autonomous body working under the International Olympic Committee Charter in Pakistan and its general council elects the office-bearers for four-year terms,” the 71-year-old Arif told reporters.
Arif reminded that government interference in matters of the POA will incur the wrath of the IOC but said those warnings are always met with calls of “blackmail”.