Mirpur is a semi – autonomous city and region within Azad – Kashmir, Pakistan. It is the area from which the vast majority of Birmingham Pakistanis originate. Forming approximately 90,000 people, the Mirpuri population is the largest of Birmingham’s black and ethnic minority communities.
From the 1950’s onwards, many citizens of Mirpur, Pakistan emigrated to France, Canada and the UK in response to the flooding of some 300 villages to form what became the Mangla Dam. This exodus marked the beginning of large-scale Pakistani communities settling across the UK, with many citizens staying in Birmingham.
This led in turn to the formal engagement between the two cities with the signing of a Treaty of Friendship in October 1993.
The formal relationship between the two cities has historically been community focused with particular regard given to how to support young people more effectively at school. School engagement through curriculum development, staff exchanges and student teacher training has also been undertaken as well as a longstanding project by the UK Scout movement to erect bridges and other small scale infrastructure buildings in Mirpur. At a local government level, modest Council engagement has contributed amongst other things to the street mapping of Mirpur city.