ISLAMABAD - A resolution to shift the PCB's headquarters from Lahore to Islamabad has been moved in the senate - the upper house of Pakistan's parliament.

The resolution was moved by senator Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, who recommended that the PCB is a "symbol of State" and so it should be in Islamabad - the capital of Pakistan.

"The House recommends that in order to remove sense of deprivation from smaller provinces, the Pakistan Cricket Board office may be shifted from Lahore to Islamabad so that a strengthened federation becomes certain. Otherwise the Pakistan Cricket Board offices may be established in other provinces also, offering an opportunity to each of them to represent, for a three months period, on turn basis," the resolution said.

Musakhel said that the PCB has 5,000 posts, all filled by Lahoris with no representation from other parts of the country. He demanded that the entire set-up be moved to Islamabad. However, according to an investigation, the PCB is presently being run by 530 employees, including contractual and full-time employees, from different parts of country, with many top-tier posts filled by Sindh representatives. District and regional staff, meanwhile, are picked from the local region to run the day-to-day affairs. There was debate carried on for hours in the senate, with opinion divided, until the leader of the opposition Aitzaz Ahsan gave his observations, which were taken positively. He said the opinion at house was divided and there are many implications of shifting the cricket board to Islamabad, so the matter should be passed on to the senate's devolution committee for further debate.

The chairman of the senate, Mian Raza Rabbani, subsequently referred the matter senate's 14-man functional committee on devolution for further perusal and debate. Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo heads the committee, which includes two members - senators Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar and Mohsin Aziz - who endorsed the resolution. Senator Farhatullah Babar, who is not on the committee, also endorsed the resolution. Senators who opposed the resolution included Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Muhammad Javed Abbasi and Mushahid Ullah Khan, who said the issue was very "sensitive".

Muhammad Javed Abbasi said: "It would be great if my friend (the resolution mover) talked about merits (of it), and the performance should be the centre of discussion. He should have pointed out if there is any inefficiency in Punjab. It not like the previous government has made the headquarter in Lahore, it has been there for decades and has lengthy history."

Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said: "A lot of discussion has been made here by the resolution mover and I think the subject matter should not be a viewed in isolation. It involves conceptual thoughts and a collective conceptual decision should be taken by all the concerned stakeholders - federation, provinces and the body itself. It would, I believe, serve the cause of federalism in Pakistan if this collective decision is taken and I find no better committee than functional committee of the senate on devolution to look into this matter."

The PCB, formally known as Board of Cricket Control in Pakistan (BCCP), was formed in May 1948 but was recognised at the international level from 1952. In early years, there was no real office for the PCB to function out of. All the paperwork and documents were stored in a trunk. Until 1972, the headquarters was in Karachi, mainly because Karachi was capital city and had a well-developed stadium by 1954-55. Later it was moved to Lahore when Pakistan's first official captain, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, became president and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power and ample money was invested to build an office at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, a comparatively a lavish and fully developed building within a Test cricket centre.

The PCB's headquarters over the years

72 Garden Road, Karachi - May 1948

29 Queens Road, Karachi - May 1954

Station Commander's Office, PAF, Drig Road Karachi - July 1954

National Stadium Karachi - December 1955

Government Secretariat, Chaklala - January 1965

GHQ Rawalpindi - March 1965

Army Stadium, Karachi - September 1971

Gaddafi Stadium Lahore - June 1972

Hockey Club of Pakistan, Karachi - February 1980

Gaddafi Stadium Lahore - February 1984