Appointment of Sethi as PCB chairman unconstitutional: TIP

Najam Sethi

Editor’s Note: To reward Najam Sethi for election fixing so he can go on to do match fixing is a shameful act. The postion of PCB Chair adds insult to injury. Cricket is a game so dear to Pakistanis, one of the few remaining gilmmers national pride, it is unconscionable to award this to a substandard candidiate. 

Transparency International Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar has termed the appointment of Najam Sethi as caretaker chief of Pakistan Cricket Board unconstitutional.

In a letter written to the ICC President in March 2012, Transparency International Managing Director Cobus D Swardt stated that the reputation of cricket depended critically on the ability of its international and national governing bodies’ ability to tackle quickly both the on-field and off-field issues that threaten the game, and that “we think that millions and millions of cricket fans around the world desire nothing less but to be proud of the game they love so much”.

TI Pakistan had forwarded Lord Woolf’s report to the ex PCB chairmen, Ijaz Butt and Zaka Ashraf, requesting them to adopt its recommendation of prioritising good governance, anti-corruption and ethics in the affairs of PCB, which unfortunately were not adhered to by both of them, to enhance transparency in their tenures.

Sohail said, “We find the appointment of caretaker PCB chairman Najam Sethi by the present government against all norms of transparency and merit that the government promised to the citizens of Pakistan during their pre-election party manifesto.”

Sethi is not the best choice for the chairmanship because of the following:

1. According to the PCB constitution, the acting chairman has to be selected from within the Board of Governors.

2. He is a income tax defaulter of FBR, and has to pay Rs 10.6 million tax on the non disclosed income of FY 2009, according to Commissioner Inland Revenue, Lahore FBR letter No J 4535 of 24 April 2013.

3. He has no experience of cricket.

Syed Adil Gilani, Adviser, TI Pakistan, said since the last 15 years, Pakistan cricket had been mismanaged by chairmen not having any experience of cricket, or were closely related to ministers, which had almost destroyed Pakistani Cricket.

At this point of time, Pakistan cricket needs person of spotless integrity like Justice Cornelius, known as the father of Pakistan Cricket and president of the BCCP 1961. The IHC on June 12, 2013 had directed the Inter-Provincial Committee to appoint an interim chairman who could represent PCB in ICC annual meeting next week, but the acting chairman has to be amongst the Board of Governors of PCB.

In 2011, the ICC required that its member boards become autonomous and free of interference from governments by June 2013. Removal of government interference had also been one of the Woolf report recommendations approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Accordingly new PCB constitution was made.

Syed Adil Gilani said, “It appears that unless government reviews its decision in the appointment of the PCB chairman for the sake of transparency and rule of law, the Supreme Court will have to take suo motu action in this case also.”

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