PCB gets favourable verdict from privilege body

LAHORE - The privileges committee of the National Assembly has given the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials some breathing space by dismissing a privilege motion moved by the federal sports minister, Engineer Shaukatullah against the cricket board in Islamabad. According to details, the minister was irked at not getting a proper response from Zakir Khan, the director of cricket operations international in the board.

"The NA privileges committee convened a meeting on Tuesday in which the PCB was represented by Zakir Khan and the minister and other officials of the sports ministry were also present. The meeting was convened after the minister moved a privilege motion against the board which was discussed and finally and not admitted for hearing," one official said.

The official outlined that the minister moved the privilege motion after he asked the PCB to send some officials to Islamabad to assist him in responding to questions raised in the assembly by some members on cricket affairs but didn't get any proper response from Zakir.

"The minister's office called us up and first asked us to provide him with the answers to the questions raised in the national assembly by some members on cricket issues. We accordingly sent him the answers. But on April 26 his office called us up and said the board should immediately rush officials to Islamabad to assist him and explain to him the issues related to the questions," one source in the board said.

He said due to the short notice the PCB declined to send someone to Islamabad and that irked the minister. "The minister was unhappy at the attitude of the board particularly Zakir and decided to move a privilege motion in the assembly," the source said. The source said the privileges committee felt there was no justification for the motion and that the board and the minister should sort out the issue between themselves. The source confirmed that since becoming the sports minister, Shaukatullah had on several occasions expressed his displeasure at the working of the board.