Built during the mid 1960s, the Mangla Dam was designed to strengthen Pakistan’s irrigation system. The cost for the neighbouring Mirpur District was the submergence of some 280 villages, leaving one hundred thousand people permanently displaced.
Encouraged by labour shortages in British mill towns advertised in Mirpur, many men used compensation to fund their passage to a new life; Mirpuris today account for 70% of British Pakistanis, with a much higher percentage in cities like Bradford.
50 years on, with controversial plans for a Mangla Dam extension in place, our panel consider its sociological impact now and then. Join University of Bradford sociologist Parveen Akhtar; Imran Hussain MP whose family hails from Mirpur; Tim Smith, co-author of ‘Home from Home: British Pakistanis in Mirpur’ and novelist Tariq Mehmood, founder of the Pothohari-Pahari language movement (spoken in Mirpur and environs). Journalist Yasir Mirza chairs.