The city of Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, is known as “Little England” due to its large British Pakistani community.
You can see it in the huge villas, semi-detached houses and all of these constructions are by British-Mirpuris who have invested heavily in back home.
In the last few decades hundreds of mansions and villas have sprung up in Mirpur and its outskirts.
These Mansions are mostly built by Mirpuri migrants who migrate to UK where they have worked, got married, and had children – for a better life.
For them, life is indeed far better outside Pakistan, their kids do not see their future in Pakistan.
So, for whom they have built such large homes? Many of them who are still driven by materialism and wealth, again not for the community but for self.
While they all have spent their whole lives working and providing everything to their next generation, it is apparent that the next generation in terms of their children and grandchildren are not interested to come back to Pakistan.
All of them have realised their dream on building a mansion on what they consider their real home, and with time, have built mansions to show how far they have come in their lives – but with every mansion built comes heartache.
Each mansion represents a successful migration to the UK. Many of the migrants have a dream to have a mansion back home,
Many of British-Mirpuris have kept their old parents in these villas, where every room has Big Portraits of their sons and daughters framed on the walls.
Hundreds of these mansion in Mirpur lay empty or many people from Punjab/KPK are being paid to live in them, because the owner is too old to live in these houses.
This is an Asian expat problem in general. Many migrants are obsessed with building a mansion back home which lies empty all year round every year, constantly pumping money in when this money could used in other better areas. It’s all just for show and the poor suffer on the streets.
Building a giant house in the middle of poverty stricken areas to stoke your own personal ego is not impressive, instead it is wasteful, cruel.
Overseas Pakistanis have an opportunity to do something positive in their communities. People building these empty mansions are just limiting themselves.
What’s the need of building big mansion in your home country when your children are not coming back to live there?? They don’t have their native cultures no more.
They can build schools, colleges, hospitals, drinking water projects, named after their families or become conservationists to protect green spaces in their town etc. There is so much they can do. This is wasted potential.
The old generation who has tried build the links to back home, once this old generation fades away, their kids will never return to Mirpur, Pakistan and they will sold these mansions and take “money back from where it come from.”