The Strong Cities Network (SCN) held its third bilateral city exchange on 30 October – 1 November 2018 between the cities of Peshawar, Pakistan, and Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Two District Council members from Peshawar, Safdar Khan Baghi and Mubashir Manzoor, travelled to Birmingham and Luton to attend this exchange hosted by Waqar Ahmed, Prevent Lead at Birmingham City Council. These exchanges aim to promote and share on a city-to-city basis vital practical tools and initiatives to reduce local risk, prevent violence and build cohesive communities.
This exchange was timed to coincide with the Building Strong Cities conference hosted by Birmingham City Council in partnership with SCN. Representatives from both cities spoke on a panel discussion aimed at highlighting the differences between contexts and approaches, as well as the opportunities for international partnership and sharing of good practice.
After the conference, the Peshawar delegation met with a wide range of actors working in the P/CVE area in Birmingham, including Birmingham City Council’s Prevent team, the West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit, as well as representatives of local community projects Kikit and ODARA.
Due to prior engagement with Luton and in recognition of the longstanding city ties between Luton and Peshawar, the SCN was keen to provide an opportunity for Peshawar representatives to engage with local approaches in other UK areas, particularly those with large Pakistani diaspora communities.
Following Luton’s recent joining of the network, this also provided a chance to explore the opportunities to build relationships and learning with relevant international cities. On this occasion the Peshawar delegation met with Luton Borough Council Members, the Prevent Coordinator and the Community Coordinator, attended a women’s empowerment workshop, and visited Luton Central Mosque.
This was an excellent opportunity for all three cities to learn about their respective challenges and approaches, as well as to explore any possibilities for future collaboration.
The full report on the Peshawar-Birmingham city exchange is available here.