The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has amended its constitution to erase the post of its patron. With the amendment, the patronship of President of Pakistan has been ended. The POA General Council, under the recent Supreme Court’s decision, made the amendment to keep the autonomous status of the National Olympic Committee Pakistan intact. The POA General Council, which met here on Saturday under the chairmanship of POA President Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan, also changed the formation of the POA Athletics Commission. Earlier, a 16-member Commission comprised 11 men and five women. To make it according to the IOC constitution, the representation of eight males and as many women has been approved by the General Council. All the members hold the right of vote. Moreover, National School Olympic Association will be formed to promote sports at school level. A separate association representing all traditional sports of the country will also be formed. During the meeting, the 128-member house, expressed great concern over the constant delay in holding the National Games with many of them wanting to even replace host Balochistan with another province. Though the delegation of Balochistan Olympic Association was confident about holding the national event in April, the national sports federations appealed to let them first check their respective international commitments during the month of April. The POA directed the national federations to submit their international programmes by March 16 before its delegation visits Quetta. It is pertinent to mention here that the Balochistan Olympic Association is still seeking the release of funds from its government to make necessary arrangements for hosting the National Games. During the last government, though the funds were allocated for the Games but were not released. And now as a new government is functioning in Balochistan, fresh steps on urgent basis are required for release of the funds. During the meeting, a proposal to give two voting rights to each Provincial Olympic Association did not carry weight and was thus turned down. After the meeting, POA chief Arif told reporters that the Balochistan Olympic Association had expressed its desire to host the 33rd National Games in April this year. The Games for the past six years have been postponed by the Provincial Association several times for one reason or the other. “The POA will send a delegation to Quetta to first monitor the infrastructure developed for staging the Games,” he added. He further said that the POA Sports Academy had been set up and its first head, Kamran Lashari, had also been appointed to prepare the basic draft for the academy. Arif said the Supreme Court had declared the POA as an autonomous body and it was a historic decision.Published in Daily Times, January 14th 2019.