Hajji Ali Qadir, who owns the historical Kapoor Haveli in Qissa Khawani Bazaar Peshawar, has said that he would take the authorities to court if they did not pay him at least two billion rupees for the mansion.

Speaking to AFP, Qadir said he has told the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government that building is “an antique and the price for an antique is multiplied 10 times.”

“We will get more money if we build a plaza here,” he added.


On the other hand, the province’s archaeology department has said it will use legal powers to purchase the Kapoor Haveli as well as Dilip Kumar’s house if needed.

In September, the KP archeological department announced that it had allotted Rs 50 million for the renovation and restoration of 15 historical sites in the province including the Kapoor Haveli and Dilip Kumar’s house located in Peshawar’s historical Qissa Khwani Bazaar.

“This is our cultural heritage and we take pride in preserving it. We are very proud that Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were from Peshawar,” said KP Director of Archaeology and Museums Abdul Samad.

It is pertinent to mention here that while Kumar’s residence was declared a protected heritage by the Directorate of Archaeology and Tourism in 2013 and later a protected monument, under the Antiquity Act 1997, the Kapoor Haveli was reported to have been converted into a museum in 2012. Despite the special status awarded to the buildings, little to no attention was paid to them and the former residences of the Bollywood stars currently stand in dilapidated conditions. Officials have often cited a lack of resources and funds and legalities surrounding buildings’ ownership as the reason behind their dismal condition.

Read more – Dilip Kumar’s wife says ‘MashaAllah’ to Pakistan’s efforts to conserve Kumar’s KP home

Once an architectural wonder, the family home of Kapoor, who died aged 63 in 1988, is influenced by Mughal empire, Central Asian and British colonial design, featuring ornately carved doors and balconies and gothic-style windows. On the other hand, Kumar lived in a simpler home down a small lane in a busy market.

Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor outside the Kapoor Haveli in 1990

In 2019, Rishi had requested the Government of Pakistan to preserve his ancestral home and convert it into a museum. He wished to visit the place before he passed away.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, at that time, had said, “There was a call from Rishi Kapoor. He requested that his family’s home in Peshawar should be made into a museum or some sort of institution. We have accepted his request.”

Peshawar suffered a huge knock-back to its cultural standing after becoming a hotbed of Islamist extremist violence from the 1980s onwards, bringing an end to the golden era of Pashto-language cinema in the region, known as Pollywood.

Militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, bombed at least three cinemas and more than 100 music shops before a military crackdown near the border with Afghanistan in 2015 resulted in drastic improvements in security.

As the city revives, more than 1,800 heritage buildings with traditional features have been identified for preservation by the province’s archaeology team, but impoverished Pakistan will need years to arrange the finances required to their purchase and restoration.

“If a proper archaeological survey was conducted, we would discover a cultural site almost every kilometre,” said archaeological director Samad about the province.