SRINAGAR: At a time when 35 persons have been killed and hundreds of other wounded youth lie hospitalized, the Peoples Democratic Party-led government has taken its slogan PDP for youth, PDP for change seemingly forward by appointing partys young leader Waheed-Ur-Rehman Parra as the Secretary Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council(JKSSC).
Highly placed sources said a decision in this regard was taken by the government after taking Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is the JKSSC president, into confidence.
While orders were formally issued last evening amid strict curfew across the Valley, the JKSSC members said they were informed about the clandestine decision telephonically.
Sources said the orders were issued in response to an emergency meeting called to improve sports infrastructure in the state. The government is serious to improve sports infrastructure for the youth of the state and this was why these orders have been issued, said a senior official.
The sports fraternity, however, said it was for the first time in the history of J&K that a politician has been appointed at the chair, which was mostly retained by bureaucrats with sports background. They regretted that it was just no time for such developments.
With the appointment of Parra, the incumbent Secretary Javed Shah has been shown the door.
While the General Administrative Department is yet to upload the orders on its website, a senior official working with the Sports Ministry said the portal could not be uploaded due to prevalent situation. It has been strict curfew due to which there was hardly anyone present in the Secretariat to update the website, the official told Kashmir Observer.
Meanwhile the sports fraternity has largely condemned the development pleading that it was not the appropriate time to issue the orders. Kashmir is burning and people, particularly youth are dying. Taking advantage of the crises the government has inducted its own political face at this top chair He has not been any sportsman beyond having played some street matches, the sportsmen ridiculed.
However, Sports council member and journalist Riffat Abdullah welcomed the development. Waheed has international exposure and is young. I hope he will do justice with this field, Abdullah told Kashmir Observer.
In August last year, the state government led by the then Chief Minister late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had reconstituted the sports council.
The council comprised of 29 members with the then Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as President and Minister for Youth Services & Sports, Moulvi Imran Raza Ansari as the Vice-President.
Four ex officio members were also made part of the body. They included Administrative Secretaries of Planning & Development Department, Finance Department, Youth Services & Sports and Director General Youth Services & Sports.
Besides, other 23 members were nominated among the categories of outstanding sportspersons, members of recognised State Sports Associations, sports promoters & organizers and sports journalists and commentators.
They include noted footballer and All India Football Federation senior member Zamir Thakur, Rifat Abdullah, Rahil Gupta, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Waheed Parra, Javed Shah, Bari Indrabi, Arjun Choudhary, Fida Hussain, Gyal Punchok Wangyal, Parvez Rasool, Krupalli Singh, Bilquees Mir, Arun Malhotra, Sidharth Sharma, Rouf Tramboo, Ranjit Kalra, Jameel Thakur, Mehboob Iqbal, Prof B A Shah, Rashid Choudhary, Nazir Ahmed, Muhammad Amin Khan and Rajinder Singh.
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