Like most cultural norms in Pakistan, the romance with tea begins in our colonial past.
Last week, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal stirred up a storm in a tea cup (pun intended) when he urged the nation to cut down on tea consumption as part of measures to help overcome the foreign exchange glut.
On the face of it, the minister’s remarks make sense. He tweeted later that Pakistan is the largest importer of tea in the world, racking up an import bill of a whopping $589.8 million in 2020 alone.
Pakistan’s love affair
But love defies all logic. And rarely has there been a love affair as passionate as Pakistan’s romance with tea. A drink or ‘concoction’ that, according to some sources is nearly 5,000 years old, tea or chai as it is known in this part of the world, has cemented its position across the socio-economic fabric of Pakistan…