A Bradford war veteran who fought for both the British and Pakistan armed forces has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Centenarian Mirza Khan, who lives in Heaton, celebrated his milestone birthday surrounded by his six children, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

His son Amjad Pervez, who now owns a multi million pound business in Bradford, described his father as “overjoyed” when he opened a card from Queen Elizabeth II.

Celebrating his father’s inspirational story, Amjad said: “He belongs to a first generation of overseas Pakistanis who - with courage, grit, determination and self-sacrifices - lay down the strong foundations upon which we here in UK and Pakistan stand to benefit economically, politically and socially.

“As the saying goes, we stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photos of Mirza Khan's 100th birthday celebrations via Amjad Pervez. Photos of Mirza Khan's 100th birthday celebrations via Amjad Pervez.

Mr Khan was born on May 24, 1922, to a Kashmiri family who migrated from Baramulla, back when India was under the rule of the British Empire.

He grew up in the district of Jhelum in the north of the Punjab province, now part of Pakistan.

The esteemed soldier began his career in the British India army and fought as part of the Burma campaign.

His efforts were later rewarded with several bravery awards from the British armed forces.

READ MORE: Photographs by UK's first Asian head boy document Punjabi migrants' daily life in Bradford

Following the partition of India in 1947, he joined the army of Pakistan.

Mr Khan’s next chapter began in the Fifties when the UK government appealed to migrants from across the Commonwealth to help regenerate its economy with cheap labour.

The veteran initially travelled to London, but it was his dream to provide education and an inspirational environment for his family that brought him to Bradford in 1969.

Known as a textile capital with top-class engineering and manufacturing on its doorstep, Bradford was one of England’s most thriving cities and attracted people from across the world.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photos via Amjad Pervez.Photos via Amjad Pervez.

Mr Khan was part of the committee for the Jamia Masjid Hanfia mosque on Carlisle Road.

Amjad said: “He wanted his children to be educated and be in an environment with his own people. He always worked in the railways, the old Forster Square building that is now the tax office and Midland Hotel.

“He worked as a senior railwayman until his retirement.

“Bradford is a city of immigrants and if you go back into history, if you look at Little Germany, Lister Park, the Polish community, Ukrainians, Bradford has been a welcoming city.

“They laid down foundations of institutions.”

He added: “When he got the card from the Queen he was absolutely overjoyed.”

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