Rowing has always faced two difficulties in Pakistan. Those are :
- Lack of equipment
- Lack of facilities for practice
Karachi and Lahore have always been and still are the major centres of rowing. However, in Lahore, wide-bodied country boats have been used for rowing while in Karachi the boats of international specifications have been used. Rowing in Karachi was restricted to the activities of the Karachi Boat Club, the only organization of Pakistan which -- possesses the boats of international specifications. However, the Karachi Boat Club has been oblivious of the task of promotion of rowing as a sport. It was only considered as a pleasure: seeking physical exercise of a social club. Because of the social stratification, the admission in Karachi Boat Club was not open to all the oarsmen, no matter how talented they were. On the other hand all efforts made in Lahore in respect of rowing were unsatisfactory. There was no hope for improvement in rowing done in the country boats because those are not used in international galas. An organization by the name of Pakistan Rowing Federation has existed in Lahore but its activities were restricted to Lahore only.
Rowing scene in Asia has also not been rosy. Only China and Japan had the rowing teams of good standard and these used to take part in the World Cup. As for countries like India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong rowing has been mostly restricted to club level and the competitions also used to take place at this very level.
In 1978 and 1979, a group of dedicated oarsman from Karachi Boat Club started taking part in these competitions. The results were encouraging.
From 1980 onwards, rowing activities took a positive turn in the country. Sind Rowing Association was formed in Karachi and it was affiliated to the Pakistan Rowing Federation thus giving it true national colour. Rowing was included in the National Games for the first time. However, this inclusion was not of much consequence as the Lahore boys rowed amongst themselves in the old-fashioned boats and the Karachi boys competed with each other in the boats of international specification.
In the meantime, the Pakistan Rowing Federation also contributed its bit in the formation of Asian Rowing Federation. With the corporation of the other Asian countries the idea of that body was conceived.