KARACHI: In a surprising development, despite the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) restraining order it issued on Monday, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) held its elections at a secret place near Changla Gali on Tuesday in which renowned politician Faisal Saleh Hayat was re-elected for the fourth successive time.
On Monday the LHC had stayed the elections of both the factions of the PFF.
The court order, a copy of which is available with ‘The News’ said: “Both the parties are restrained from holding elections of the PFF until the outcome of this and other connected writ petitions challenging the vires of different actions taken by different actors involved in this controversy.”
The PFF’s newly-elected vice-president Naved Haider said they had not received any court order. “We did not receive any order,” Naved told this correspondent.
Former PFF official Col Farasat, who is a vital member of the Zahir Shah group, said dispatching court order to them was the responsibility of the court. “Their lawyers had been told in my presence in the court on Monday that they would have to make their clients abide by the court order,” Farasat told this correspondent.
Naved said that Faisal got 14 votes out of 23. “Nine votes of the three provinces, Islamabad, Balochistan United and three elected women Sadia Sheikh, Nadia Naqvi and Fauzia Noureen cast their votes in favour of Faisal,” he said.
Sources said that the elections were held at Makhdoom House in Khanpur area near Changla Gali.
But Naved said the electoral meeting was held in the vicinity of Le Grand resort in Changla Gali.
A senior police official told ‘The News’ from Abbottabad that no elections were held in Le Grand Hotel. “I can confirm that no elections were held in the hotel at Changla Gali,” the official said.
The sources said that the hotel’s administration had been conveyed the message and the restraining order of the court by the police with the instructions that no meeting or elections could be held in the hotel because of the LHC stay order.
“The hotel administration did not allow Faisal and company to hold their electoral meeting because of the restraining order,” a well-placed source claimed.
Col Farasat rejected the elections. “We reject the elections and will challenge it both at AFC and FIFA,” said Farasat.
The Zahir Shah group did not hold its elections because of the court’s restraining order.
Farasat said they would file a contempt of court petition against their rivals. “Definitely they have violated the court order and we will file a contempt of court petition against them,” Farasat said.
Naved said that the AFC Director Member Associations and Development Sanjeevan Balasinggam was present in the electoral meeting as an observer.
He said that observer of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) Rizwan-ul-Haq did not reach Chnagla Gali.
The elections have further complicated the situation.
“It will have serious consequences,” a football expert said. “The next few days are very important,” he added.