The Association


Cambridge Pakistan Cultural Association (CPCA), established since 1932, is a non-political, non-sectarian, cultural and educational organization of residents of Cambridgeshire. We serve the community in several ways. We invite scholars, politicians, poets, artists and other dignitaries from various disciplines to meet and share their arts, knowledge and experience with the local community. We also arrange cultural exhibitions, festivals and celebrate remembrance days to introduce and demonstrate cultural heritage to our members. We also arrange educational, sports and recreational activities especially for children and women. To reduce social isolation and promotion of peace, harmony, tolerance, unity and community cohesion in a multicultural society are our prime objectives in all activities.


The history of the Association goes back to 1931 when Chaudhry Rehmat Ali established a group of like minded Indian Muslims in Cambridge largly inspired by the Iqbal's Khutba-e-Allahabad (1930). In Khutba-e-Allahabad, Sir Dr. Muhammad Iqbal presented the idea of an independent state for Indian Muslims. In the early 1930s, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali began writing about formation of a muslim nation in India. In 1931 Allama Iqbal was invited at Cambridge to deliver a lecture and Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and his friends played an active role in arranging that event. Chaudhry Sahab used to have regular discussions and meetings within his group on the idea of an independent Indian Muslim state and eventually came up with the name "Pakistan" for such territory. There are several accounts to the conceptualising of the name "Pakistan". According to Rehmat Ali's secretary Miss Frost, he came up with the idea of the name "Pakistan" while riding on the top of a London bus. He then discussed this idea with his friends at Cambridge. According to a friend "Abdul Kareem Jabbar" the name came up when Rehmat Ali was walking along the banks of the Thames in 1932 with his friends Pir Ahsan-ud-Din and Khawja Abdul Rahim. It was that historic moment when Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and his friends at Cambridge decided the name "Pakistan" and started promoting it, the very first Pakistani Association was formed. This was an early form of the Cambridge Pakistan Association which gradually developed over time and until today has always been a center of activities for the Pakistani community in Cambridge and surrounding vicinity.

A historical picture of Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and Allama Iqbal


The objectives of the Association are as follows.

  • To promote friendship, goodwill and understanding between the people of Pakistan and the UK

  • To celebrate national and historic events of importance to its members

  • To arrange social, cultural, religious, welfare and sporting activities for its members including children, students, men, women and elders

  • To raise awareness about the Pakistani culture and values among its members and their children

  • To promote community cohesion, integration, understanding and tolerance among its members and other local communities

  • To establish goodwill and working relationships between the Association and other local bodies including other ethnic and cultural associations


The membership of the Association is open to anyone living in Cambridge and surrounding vicinity and willing to support and promote the objectives of the association. There is absolutely no discrimination on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality or religion basis. For more information please go to the membership section.

Cambridge Pakistan Cultural Association, Cambridge, UK
established since 1932