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Representatives from Redditch and a town in Pakistan have met to reaffirm their civic friendship and community ties.

A delegation from Gujar Khan, in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi province about 30km south of Islamabad, met the Mayor of Redditch Cllr Salman Akbar at the Town Hall, where the Mayor was presented with a gift of a hand crafted model of a truck.

Gujar Khan, to where the majority of Redditch's residents of Pakistani descent can trace their origins, was twinned with Redditch in 2006 following work from the Redditch Pakistan Community Forum and Redditch Borough Council. The twinning sees activities with the South Asian town maintained by the Gujar Khan Welfare Link group, under Redditch’s twinning steering group which is chaired by the Mayor of Redditch.

Cllr Akbar said: “I am honoured to be able to continue to foster relationships between our communities here and in Pakistan, which we have long been doing in Redditch. The main aim is, as ever, to promote the cultures of both our communities proactively, and encourage better understanding, friendship, and harmony.”

Mr Khawaja Pervez of Gujar Khan Welfare Link said: “Most of Redditch’s Pakistani community has roots in the Gujar Khan area of Pakistan, and so this link ensures that new generations in Redditch sustain a positive relationship. That helps to connect and identify themselves with their motherland with pride as they negotiate their dual lifestyles as British Citizens in mainstream British society.

“This two-way project involves volunteers in Redditch and Gujar Khan and everyone is welcome to participate. Previous Redditch Mayors have long supported the group for which our local Pakistani and other community groups are very grateful, and we thank the current Mayor Cllr Salman Akbar for his renewed interest in strengthening this link.”

Redditch and its communities maintain civic links with five twin towns. As well as Gujar Khan, the other four are Gruchet and Auxerre, both in France, Mtwara in Tanzania, and St Elizabeth in Jamaica.

Pictured: Khawaja Pervez, Raja Sajid, Mohammad Amin, Choudhry Asghar, Cllr Imran Altaf, and Choudhry Zafar presented the gift to the Mayor of Redditch at Redditch Town Hall.

R24013 Redditch Celebrates Ties With Pakistani Town