Pak Tea House

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Pak Tea House is an intellectual teacafé located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan known for its association with progressive academics and left-leaning South Asian intelligentsia.[1][2]

Traditionally frequented by country's notably artistic, cultural and literary personalities, it was founded by a Sikh family in 1940 and quickly acquired its current name after it was leased to one of the locals in Lahore after the partition of India in 1947. Intervention of Lahore High Court and led to the re-opening of the Tea House in 2013. Noted for being the birthplace of influential literary movement, the Progressive Writers' Association (Progressive Writers Association), the place is described as "house of writers and thinkers who serve the nation selflessly.[3]


The café was set up in 1940 as the "India tea house" by Boota Singh, a Sikh family in Lahore.[4] In 1944, it was taken over by two sikh brothers Surtej singh bhalla and Kaiser Singh Bhalla. It remained closed during the partition riots, and in 1948, it was allotted to Sirajuddin Ahmed. Ahmed who renamed it as "Pak Tea House" in 1950 and ran this restaurant successfully from 1947 to 1978. After his death, his son Zahid Hasan managed the cafe and restaurant, but due to reducing customers, it was closed in 2000. During this period, its ownership was taken by the Young Men's Christian.[5]

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, a local food supplier named Sirajuddin Ahmad rented the house from the YMCA administration and renamed it as "Pak Tea House" in 1947.[5] The place was traditionally frequented by the city's artistic, cultural and literary personalities.[5] Attendees including were: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Agha Shorish Kashmiri, Ibn-e-Insha, Ahmed Faraz, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ahmad Rahi, Muneer Niazi, Meeraji, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, Nasir Kazmi, Professor Sayyid Sajjad Rizavi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Dr. Muhammad Baqir, Intezar Hussain and Syed Qasim Mahmood.[5]

The house became a birthplace of the influential literary movement, the Progressive Writers' Association, which had been known for left-wing politics since its early foundation.[5] Many writers frequented it, and it was also a favourite haunt of the section of Lahore youths with non-mainstream points of view.[5] It maintained a reputation as a forum for people of diverse backgrounds to voice their opinions in a non-judgmental atmosphere.[5]

In 1999, it was closed by its owner due to a lack of business, a decision criticized by the intellectual community of Lahore.[5] It remained closed for 13 years until 2 February 2012 when, on the orders of the Lahore commissioner, Pak Tea House was again put under the control of the YMCA.[6] On 10 March 2013, Pak Tea House was reinaugurated by the Government of Punjab.[5] Pak Tea House is located on the Mall Road, near Anarkali Bazaar and Neela Gumbad.[5]


In June 2012, the government of Punjab announced its intention to reopen the Pak Tea House, where it would support itself.[7] On Friday 8 March 2013, Pak Tea House reopened after 13 years of closure.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pak Tea House". Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  2. ^ "The end of Pak Tea House - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  3. ^, Nawaz reopens Pak Tea House in Lahore, Dawn newspaper, published 8 March 2013, Retrieved 20 Jan 2016
  4. ^ "Pak tea house". Dawn. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sabir Shah (March 9, 2013). "The Brief history of Pak Tea House". The News International, 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Nawaz reopens Pak Tea House in Lahore". Dawn. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  7. ^, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 20 June 2012, Retrieved 20 Jan 2016
  8. ^ [1] Nawaz reopens Pak Tea House in Lahore, Retrieved 20 Jan 2016

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