LAHORE – The City District Government on Thursday got vacated the intellectual café of the city Pak Tea House, which was closed some years ago and illegally turned into a godown for storing cloth.

Pak Tea House has traditionally been frequented by the city’s artistic, cultural and literary personalities. Some of the most well-known regulars were Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ibn-e-Insha, Ahmed Faraz, Saadat Hasan Manto, Muneer Niazi, Mira Ji, Kamal Rizvi, Nasir Kazmi, Professor Sayyid Sajjad Rizvi, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Dr. Muhammad Baqir, Intezar Hussain and Syed Qasim Mahmood. It acted as a forum for people of diverse backgrounds to voice their opinions in a non-judgmental atmosphere and had maintained this reputation over the years.

The tenant Zahid had handed over the possession of café to Khalid, the owner of Bashir Sons who had turned it into a godown for storing cloth. In an operation launched by the City District Government on Thursday afternoon the café was got vacated and handed over to the owner real owners that is the YMCA. According to CDG officials and the YMCA management the intellectual café would be restored to its original condition and functioning. Reportedly some multinational companies have shown interest in refurbishing the historical place. The YMCA management would now run the café and it would be open for all in two weeks time.

Talking to The Nation General Secretary of Lahore YMCA Samuel Pervez said the YMCA management has no commercial concerns and it would be run on no profit no loss basis. “It is a historical place and we want it to again be the centre of literary activities in the city. The step of government is appreciable and the literary circles are very happy with the action,” he said.