ISLAMABAD     -   Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation (PTBF) Secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman has lashed out at Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for depriving him of representing the country in the Cubica Tenpin Bowling World Cup, which begins today (Monday) in Indonesia.

Talking to The Nation on Sunday, Ijaz, who is a former three-time national champion, said: “I fail to understand that what is going on in Pakistan. Sports come to complete standstill for last one year or so while only blue-eyed federations, and majority of them only exist in papers, were being showered with special funds. On the other hand, the PTBF, which is working tirelessly for building the soft and sports-loving image of the country, has been given step-motherly treatment.

“I was running from post to pillar for last several weeks to meet with IPC Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, who is a true sportsman. He promised me to not only issue NOC, but also special grant so that I could be able to represent the country in the biggest tenpin event but the PSB kept on sitting on the documents and wasted a golden opportunity for me to earn laurels for the country.

He said: “I spent several hours outside Acting Director General Amna Imran office and requested her to spare few minutes, but she was busy in enjoying sunbath along with few blue-eyed PSB officers and was least bothered about future of Pakistani sports. I kept on requesting the PSB and IPC Minister, but no one gave me time and finally, the deadline approached and I was left with no other option but to stay at home. After such step-motherly treatment, I decided to field 15-year-old Amir Mehmood, a Malaysian-based Pakistani, who is also Inter-Malaysian Tenpin Bowling champion and has a bright future ahead for Pakistan.

“The real problem lies in the PSB and IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza is also very busy and can’t spare time to meet genuine federation officials, while the Acting DG has very important areas to look after. We were very excited when Imran Khan took over as Prime Minister, with the hope that he, being a sportsman himself, will help the athletes and federations will get their due right, unfortunately, the standard of sports is declining fast in the country.

“At one end, the government wants to privatise the PSB and on the other hand, the IPC Minister has turned the PSB into money-making factory. They have completely forgotten that the PSB was constructed with the purpose of facilitating the sportsmen and federations, but now we have to give money for using the PSB facilities. Is this a way to serve sports and sportsmen and is it a vision of the PM for taking Pakistan sports forward,” he questioned.

Ijaz said that mega sporting events are coming thick and fast, while the IPC Minister is not moved as not a single camp is being organised at the PSB, which, in the past, used to be a hub of sporting activities. “For last more than a year, the IPC Minister failed to appoint a permanent DG in the PSB, which is the main reason the board’s working has been badly affected.

“I have long been waiting to get a piece of land inside the PSB premises, where I want to establish an international bowling alley but for last several years, I am being treated as an alien. I have given my entire life to tenpin bowling and established two bowling clubs of my own in Islamabad and Rawalpindi only to promote the game and produce champions for the country.”

The PTBF Secretary has requested PM Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Army Chief and all the stakeholders to save Pakistan sports and future of athletes or else youth will sit at home and grounds will be completely empty. “I am sure being a sportsman, Imran Khan will take stern action against those, who are trying to destroy Pakistan sports.”