By Nick Butler

A new logo has also been unveiled in a symbolic show of change within the organisation ©A-NOCNew Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (A-NOC) President Fahim Hashimy has claimed he will ensure the organisation retains its independence and not have its position compromised by Government interference. 

Hashimy, a 33-year-old businessman who owns the fastest-growing television channel in the country, 1TV, was elected to replace Mohammad Zaher Aghbar as President last month in what was hailed as a "landmark event" in the history of sport in Afghanistan.

He was one of 54 officials from 26 National Olympic Committees across west, central and south Asia to attend the two-day Olympic Solidarity and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Regional Forum at the Regency Intercontinental Hotel in the Bahrain capital Manama earlier this month. 

Hashimy claimed he welcomed the early opportunity to "meet face to face and discuss timelines and issues" with officials from the OCA, as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), before insisting that he shares their "objectives, ideas and goals".

A key area of focus was issues of governance and autonomy, as Hashimy strives to keep the body democratic and free from the Government interference that plagued it in the past. 

"We need Government support in terms of resources, but we also need to make sure they do not interfere in our work," he told insidethegames.

"It is about working with the OCA and IOC, and respecting the IOC Charter.

"We are pretty sure we are going to do it, but we are going to have challenges, and one main objective is to raise the knowledge levels of our committee members."

Fahim Hashimy speaking during the Regional Forum in Bahrain ©A-NOCFahim Hashimy speaking during the Regional Forum in Bahrain ©A-NOC

Hashimy has consulted key figures from other NOCs, including Qatar and Bangladesh, in order to ascertain the best approaches.

But he admitted every NOC has to deal with a different domestic climate.

Hashimy claimed he has already received good feedback in Afghanistan and people are in favour of the democratic element of his election, as well as the fact there is now a relatively young person in charge. 

In a shorter-term, he also looked ahead to three multi-sport competitions later this year, in which Afghanistan plans to participate - the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympics from August 16 to 28, the Asian Games in Incheon, from September 19 to August 4,and the Asian Beach Games in Phuket from November 14 to 21.

Afghanistan plans to compete in football and cricket at the Asian Games as well as taekwondo, the sport in which Rohullah Nikpai earned both of the nation's Olympic medals, in the 58 kilogram division at Beijing 2008 and in the 68kg category at London 2012. 

Hashimy is also hopeful athletes will compete across many other sports, as part of a total squad of up to 70 athletes, with discussions currently ongoing in order to secure funding to enable this. 

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