Migration from India and Pakistan

About this resource

This resource explores how and why people from the Grand Trunk Road have settled in Britain over the last 150 years.

The Grand Trunk Road is the oldest, longest, and most famous highway in the Indian subcontinent. It runs from Kabul to Calcutta and is around 1,500 miles long. Locals refer to it as the ‘GT Road’. Between Delhi and the Khyber Pass the GT Road runs through the homelands of over 90% of British Pakistanis. In the Indian Punjab, it travels through the homelands of the vast majority of Sikhs and Hindus that have now made Britain their home.

This resource is based on an actual journey by Irna Qureshi and Tim Smith, along the Grand Trunk Road from Delhi to the Khyber Pass. They took photographs and interviewed people in places such as Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Jhelum, Mirpur, Rawalpindi, Attock, Saleh Khana and Peshawar. Their work explores the history of this ancient trade and military route. It reveals why the Grand Trunk Road was so vital to the process of migration to Britain and how the close links between Britain and the places along it continue to this day.


The resource is suitable for use with ESOL and Family History learners, particularly those with an interest in India and Pakistan. The information, photographs and oral history accounts relate to the homelands of many Muslims from Pakistan, as well as Sikhs and Hindus who have roots in the Indian Punjab.


Curriculum Links:

KS3 History Units 18 & 19

KS3 Geography Unit 5 Exploring England

KS3 Cross-Curricular Dimension Identity and Cultural Diversity


Learning Outcomes:

This resource supports key processes of historical enquiry and interpretation and will enable students to:

  • Understand how conflict impacts on people’s lives
  • Use oral testimony and photographs as sources of historical information
  • Gain insight into the reasons behind migration and emigration
  • Deepen their understanding of how it feels to come to live in a foreign country
  • Become familiar with the backgrounds and concerns of people from South Asian backgrounds living in Britain
  • Use material relating to their own background, which they can identify with culturally and emotionally

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