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LAHORE: The high-ups of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry have allegedly turned against Chairman PCB Management Committee Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf after his refusal to replace Chief Operating Officer (COO) PCB with the Additional Secretary from the Ministry, said reliable sources.

A recent letter of the IPC Ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking advice for a change of guard at the PCB has opened a new controversy amidst the upcoming mega events like Asia Cup and World Cup.

The sources alleged that the IPC Ministry was pressurizing the PCB management for undue favour. According to them, the ministry had also pressurized the management by asking Special Branch of Police to carry out surveillance of the staff.

The sources claimed that vested elements have also manoeuvred an earlier letter of Ch Zaka Ashraf written to Bilawal Bhutto for resigning from the Central Executive Committee after assuming the PCB office. The ministry wanted to establish political connection by circulating an old letter dispatched by Ch Ashraf some two months back, the sources added. Otherwise, they said, there was no connection between the upcoming general elections and the PCB.

The sources said Chairman PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf was in high spirit and is determined to carry on with PCB affairs honestly and efficiently in the interest of the country. They said the Chairman has held detailed meetings with his Sri Lankan counterparts to finalize future actions.

The internal controversies between the Ministry of IPC and PCB have led to issuance of letter of the IPC Ministry, the sources said. “The Ministry of IPC intends to get control on the affairs of the board by appointing its nominees at key positions but Zaka Ashraf’s refusal created gulf between the two institutions.” In this situation, only the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is facing uncertainty about its leadership, which according to cricket analysts, may affect cricketing affairs.

According to the IPC Ministry, Zaka Ashraf appointment falls under a political appointment while sources close to the PCB head claim that Zaka had distance himself from the PPP and his whole focus was on cricket affairs being run by former cricketers Inzimamul Haq, Saleem Jaffer, Mohammad Hafeez and others.

The IPC’s move came after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had advised all the caretaker governments to terminate the services of all heads of institutions appointed on a political basis. It may be recalled that Zaka was named chairman of the PCB management committee last month after attempts to get him elected as the chairman was blocked through interim orders by various courts. Following delays in PCB elections, the IPC ministry announced the management committee headed by Zaka Ashraf.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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