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 ( ,  , Karāchi) is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistanmarker, and the capital of the province of Sindhmarker. It is one of the largest cities in the world by population and the 20th largest metropolitan area in the world, in terms of metropolitan population. It is Pakistan's premier centre of banking, industry, and trade. Karachi is also home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those that are involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is also a major hub of higher education in South Asia and the wider Islamic World. Karachi has been ranked as a Beta world city, as of 2008.

Karachi enjoys its prominent position due to its geographical location on a bay, making it the financial capital of the country. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It was the original capital of Pakistan until the construction of Islamabadmarker and is the location of the Port of Karachimarker and Port Bin Qasimmarker, one of the region's largest and busiest ports. The city's population increased dramatically at the time of independence, when hundreds of thousands of refugees from Indiamarker, Bangladeshmarker and other parts of South Asia came to settle in the city.

Karachi city is spread over in area, almost five times bigger than Singaporemarker. It is locally known as the "City of Lights" (روشنين جو شهر) for its liveliness, and the "City of the Quaid" (شهرِ قائد), having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam (Muhammad Ali Jinnah), the founder of Pakistan, who also made the city his home after Pakistan's independence.


A view of Karachi city from 1890

The area of Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola, the place where Alexander the Great camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus Valleymarker; 'Morontobara' (probably Manora island near Karachi harbourmarker), from where Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal, the starting point for Muhammad bin Qasim and his army in 712 AD. Karachi was founded as "Kolachi" by Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area. Descendants of the original community still live in the area on the small island of Abdullah Goth, which is located near the Karachi Port. The original name "Kolachi" also survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named "Mai Kolachi". The city was visited by Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis in 1550s and mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries), 1557 AD. The present city started life as a fishing settlement when a Balochi fisherwoman called Mai Kolachi took up residence and started a family. The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1700s, the village was trading across the Arabian Seamarker with Muscatmarker and the Persian Gulfmarker region. A small fort was constructed for its protection, armed with cannons imported from Muscat. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) (Kharadarmarker) and the other facing the Lyari Rivermarker known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar). The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar ( ) and Mithadar ( ).
A view of saddar bazaar in 1900
After sending a couple of exploratory missions to the area, the British East India Company conquered the town when HMS Wellesley anchored off Manora island on 1 February 1839. Two days later, the little fort surrendered. The town was later annexed to the British Indian Empire when Sindhmarker was conquered by Charles James Napier in Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843. On his departure in 1847, he is said to have remarked, "Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!". Karachi was made the capital of Sindh in the 1840s. On Napier's departure, it was added along with the rest of Sindh to the Bombay Presidency, a move that caused considerable resentment among the native Sindhis. The British realised the importance of the city as a military cantonment and as a port for exporting the produce of the Indus Rivermarker basin, and rapidly developed its harbour for shipping. The foundations of a city municipal government were laid down and infrastructure development was undertaken. New businesses started opening up and the population of the town began rising rapidly. The arrival of the troops of the Kumpany Bahadur in 1839 spawned the foundation of the new section, the military cantonment. The cantonment formed the basis of the 'white' city, where the Indians were not allowed free access. The 'white' town was modeled after English industrial parent-cities, where work and residential spaces were separated, as were residential from recreational places. Karachi was divided into two major poles. The 'black' town in the northwest, now enlarged to accommodate the burgeoning Indian mercantile population. In 1857, the First Indian War for Independence broke out in South Asia and the 21st Native Infantry stationed in Karachi declared allegiance to rebels, joining their cause on 10 September 1857. Nevertheless, the British were able to quickly reassert control over Karachi and defeat the uprising.

In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from India to England, when a direct telegraph connection was laid between Karachi and London. In 1878, the city was connected to the rest of British India by rail. Public building projects, such as Frere Hall (1865) and the Empress Market (1890), were undertaken. In 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistanmarker, was born in the city, which by now had become a bustling city with mosques, churches, courthouses, kota, paved streets and a magnificent harbour. By 1899, Karachi had become the largest wheat exporting port in the East. The population of the city was about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century, with a cosmopolitan mix of Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews. There were also various linguistic groups, such as Urdu speakers, Punjabi as well as Pashtun and Balochi. The multi-ethnic mix can be imagined from the fact that there are more Pashtun in Karachi than in any city of the North-West Frontier Province. In addition to local groups, there were also immigrants of Persian, Lebanese, and European backgrounds. By the turn of the century, the city faced street congestion, which led to Southwest Asia's first tramway system being laid down in 1900. British colonialists embarked on a number of public works of sanitation and transportation such as gravel paved streets, proper drains, street sweepers, and a network of trams and horse-drawn trolleys. Colonial administrators also set up military camps, a European inhabited quarter, and organised marketplaces, of which the Empress Market is most notable.

By the time the new country of Pakistanmarker was formed in 1947, after which the majority of Karachi's Hindu population was forced to flee to India, Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares. Karachi was chosen as the capital of Pakistan, which at the time also included modern day Bangladeshmarker, a region located more than away, and not physically connected to Pakistanmarker. In 1947, Karachi was the focus for settlement by Muslim immigrants from India, who drastically expanded the city's population and transformed the demographics and economy. In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindimarker and then in 1960, to the newly built Islamabadmarker. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development. Karachi had both a municipal corporation and a Karachi Divisional Council in the 1960s, which developed plans for schools, colleges, roads, municipal gardens, and parks. The Karachi Divisional Council had separate working committees for education, roads, and residential societies development and planning. During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Koreamarker, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan" and World Financial Centre in Seoulmarker is designed and modeled after Karachi.

The 1970s saw major labour struggles in Karachi's industrial estates, (see: Karachi labour unrest of 1972). The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of refugees from the Soviet war in Afghanistan into Karachi, they were followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iranmarker. Political tensions between the Muhajir and other native groups (e.g. Sindhis, Punjabis, Pashtuns, and others), also erupted and the city was wracked with political and racial violence. The period from 1992 to 1994 is regarded as the bloodiest period in the history of the city, when the Army commenced its Operation Clean-up against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Most of these tensions have now simmered down. Today, Karachi continues to be an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the other Central Asian countries. It accounts for a lion's share of the GDP of Pakistan, and a large proportion of the country's white collar workers.


Satellite view of Karachi
Karachi is located in the south of Pakistan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Most of the land comprised largely of flat or rolling plains, with hills on the western and Manora Island and the Oyster Rocks. The Arabian Sea beach lines the southern coastline of Karachi. Mangroves and creeks of the Indus delta can be found towards the south east side of the city. Towards the west and the north is Cape Monzemarker, locally known as Raas Muari, an area marked with projecting sea cliffs and rocky sandstone promontories. Some excellent beaches can also be found in this area.


Karachi features an arid climate, albeit a more moderate version of this climate. Located on the coast, Karachi tends to have a relatively mild climate with low levels of average precipitation (approximately 250 mm per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July-August monsoon season. Winters are mild and the summers are hot, however the proximity to the sea maintains humidity levels at a near-constant high and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. Due to high temperatures during the summer (ranging from 30 to 44 degrees Celsius from April to August), the winter months (November to February) are generally considered the best times to visit Karachi. July, December and January have pleasing and cloudy weather when most of the social events and tourism, ranging from weddings to charity fundraisers, frequently take place.In 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 Karachi was affected by heavy to extremely heavy rainfall. On June 23, 2007 Cyclone Yemyin lashed the city with heavy downpours and strong windstorm. Also on July 18, 2009, there was severe flooding in which record breaking rain of 235mm occurred in just 14 hours (highest rainfall of Karachi), killing 20 and injuring 150 people. Then on August 31, 2009 147.5mm rain partially submerged the city. Highest recorded temperature is and lowest is .


Jahangir Kothari, Karachi

Karachi has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles and many modern style high rise buildings are under construction. The downtown districts of Saddarmarker and Clifton contain a rich collection of early 20th century architecture, ranging in style from neo-classical KPT building to the Sindh High Court Building. During the British rule, Britishers wanted to model their Empire along the lines of ancient Rome and classical architecture was considered most appropriate for built monuments of the Raj. Karachi acquired its first neo-Gothic or Indo-Gothic building when Frere Hall, Empress Market and St. Patrick's Cathedral were completed. English Tudor style was introduced in Karachi Gymkhana and the Boat Club. Italian Renaissance was very popular and was the language for St. Joseph's Convent (1870) and the Sind Club (1883). Classical style made a comeback in the late nineteenth century as seen in Lady Dufferin Hospitalmarker (1898) and the Cantt. Railway Station. While 'Italianate' buildings remained poplar, an eclectic blend termed Indo-Saracenic or Anglo-Mughal also began to emerge in some locations.

The local mercantile community began acquiring impressive mercantile structures. Zaibunnisa Street in Saddarmarker area (known as Elphinstone Street in British days) is an example where the mercantile groups adopted the 'Italianate' and Indo-Saracenic style to demonstrate their familiarity with western culture and their own. The Hindu Gymkhana (1925) and Mohatta Palace are the example of Mughal revival buildings. The Sindh Wildlife Conservation Building, located in Saddar, served as a Freemasonic Lodge until the time it was taken over by the government. However, there are talks of it being taken away from this custody and being renovated and the Lodge being preserved with its original woodwork ad ornate wooden staircase.

In recent years, a large number of architecturally distinctive, even eccentric, buildings have sprung up throughout Karachi. Notable examples of contemporary architecture include the Pakistan State Oil Headquarters building and the Karachi Financial Towers. The city has numerous examples of modern Islamic architecture, including the Aga Khan Universitymarker hospital, Masjid e Tooba, Faran Mosque, Bait-ul Mukarram Mosque and Quaid's Mausoleum. One of the unique cultural elements of Karachi is that the residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, are built with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar Road displays a wide range of supertall buildings. The most prominent examples include the Habib Bank Plazamarker, PRC Towers and the MCB Towermarker which is the tallest skyscraper in Pakistanmarker. Perhaps one of the most spectacular buildings of modern times, Port Tower Complex, a supertall skyscraper is proposed in the Cliftonmarker District of the metropolis. At 593 metres, the building will comprise a hotel, a shopping centre, an exhibition centre and a revolving restaurant with a viewing gallery offering a panoramic view of the coastline and the city..

In addition to that many more high rise buildings are underconstruction such as Centre Point near Korangi Industrial Area, IT Tower, Sofitel Tower Karachi and Emerald Tower.Recently Government of Sindh has approved the construction of two high density zones, which will host the new city skyline.


Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana offers a two year diploma course in performing arts that include classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year old similar institution in Lahoremarker, has been holding its Annual Music Festival since its inception in 2004. The Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities. The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) also has musical performances and Mushaira (poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival organized annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries.

Karachi has many museums including the Mohatta Palace that regularly has exhibitions as well as the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centremarker hosts many regional and international exhibitions.

The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other Pakistani cities/towns. The culture of Karachi is characterized by the blending of South Asian particularly from Indiamarker and Bangladeshmarker, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Western influences, as well as the status of the city as a major international business centre. After partition of Indian subcontinent, Karachi, received large number of refugees from all over India, which is very much evident in the form of different sub-cultures prevailing in the city. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.


Karachi Gymkhana Ground, overlooking downtown Karachi

Cricket is the most popular sport of the city and is usually played in many small grounds around the city. Gully cricket is played in the narrow by-lanes of the city . Night time cricket, popularly called 'night match' can be seen at weekends when people play brightly lit night matches on less traversed city streets and the game continues till dawn. Karachi has also produced one of the best cricketers in the world such as Javed Miandad, Rashid Latif and Basit Ali.The major venue for cricket matches is the National Stadiummarker but matches are also hosted at the UBL Sports Complex, The A.O. Cricket Stadium, the KCCA Cricket Ground, the Karachi Gymkhana Field and the DHA Cricket Stadium. A popular local game is Malh (Sindhi: ملهه). All Sindh Malh ُOrganization hosts All Sindh Malakhirro every year in Karachi.

Rugby team of Karachi, in 1934
popular sports in the city are hockey, boxing, association football, golf, table tennis, snooker, squash, and horse racing. Sports like badminton, volleyball and basketball are also popular in schools and colleges. Football is especially popular in Lyari Town which has a large Afro-Pakistani community and always been a football-mad locality in Karachi. The Peoples Football Stadiummarker is perhaps the largest football stadium in Pakistan with respect to capacity, easily accommodating around 40,000 people. In 2005, the city hosted the SAFF Championship at this ground, as well as the Geo Super Football League 2007 which attracted capacity crowds during the games.

The city also has facilities for hockey (the Hockey Stadium of Pakistan, UBL Hockey Ground), boxing (KPT Sports Complex), squash (Jehangir Jani Squash Complex) and polo. Marinas and Boating Clubs also add to the diverse sporting activities in Karachi. Karachi has a number of sporting clubs that provide sporting facilities to their members, including tennis, badminton and squash courts, swimming pools, jogging tracks, gymnasiums, billiards and much more. There are two world class golf clubs, at DHA and Karsaz.

Fashion, Shopping & Entertainment

The Forum Mall in Clifton, Karachi
Karachi has always been proactive is organizing mega events but because of the political and economic crisis in the country, activities have been slowed down. However, Karachi has been hosting many different cultural and fashion shows even now. Recently four-day long fashion show was organized in the luxury Marriott hotel, Karachi.Karachi also has many glitzy shopping malls in Clifton area, Tariq road and Hyderi Shopping area such as Park Towers, The Forum, Dolmen Mall, Millenium Mall just to name a few. Besides that Zamzama boulevard is famous for its designer stores and many cafes.


Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi including world popular Business Plus, Geo TV, CNBC Pakistan, Hum TV, TV ONE, AAJ TV, ARY Digital, Express News, Indus Television Network, K.T.N, Kawish Television Network, Sindh TV and Dawn News as well as several local stations. Local channels include Metro One.

Pakistan's premier news television networks are also based in Karachi, including The Geo News, ARY One World and AAJ News. AAG and MTV Pakistan are the main music television channels and Business Plus and CNBC Pakistan are the main business television channels based in the city. The bulk of Pakistan's periodical publishing industry is centred in Karachi including magazines such as Spider, Herald, Humsay, Cricketer, Moorad, and The Internet.


Aerial View of KPT Building in downtown Karachi

Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan. In line with its status as a major port and the country's largest metropolis, it accounts for a lion's share of Pakistan's revenue. According to the Federal Board of Revenue's 2006-2007 year book, tax and customs units in Karachi were responsible for 46.75% of direct taxes, 33.65% of federal excise tax, and 23.38% of domestic sales tax. Karachi also accounts for 75.14% of customs duty and 79% of sales tax on imports. Therefore, Karachi collects a significant 53.38% of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue (since renamed as the Central Board of Revenue), out of which 53.33% are customs duty and sales tax on imports. (Note: Revenue collected from Karachi includes revenue from some other areas since the Large Tax Unit (LTU) Karachi and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur & Quetta cover the entire province of Sindh and Balochistan). Karachi's indigenous contribution to national revenue is 25%.

Karachi produces about 30 percent of value added in large scale manufacturing A substantial chunk of Sindh’s GDP is attributed to Karachi (the GDP of Sindh as a percentage of Pakistan’s total GDP has traditionally hovered around 28%/30%). Karachi’s GDP is around 20% of the total GDP of Pakistan. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study released in 2007, that surveyed the GDP (2005) of the top cities in the world, calculated Karachi’s GDP(PPP) to be $55 billion (projected to be $127 billion in 2020 at a growth rate of 5.8%). It confirmed Karachi’s status as Pakistan’s largest economy, well ahead of the next two biggest cities Lahore and Faisalabad having a reported GDP(PPP) of $28 billion and $10 billion, respectively. Karachi's high GDP is based on its mega industrial base, with a high dependency also on the financial sector. Textile, Cement, Steel, Heavy machinery, chemicals, food, Banking, Insurance are the major segments contributing to Karachi's GDP. In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan. Karachi is the nerve center of Pakistan's economy. The economic stagnation due to political anarchy, ethnic strife and resultant military operation during late 80s and 90s led to efflux of industry from Karachi. Most of Pakistan's public and private banks are headquartered on Karachi's I.I. Chundrigar Road, while most major foreign multinational corporations operating in Pakistan have their headquarters in Karachi. The Karachi Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Pakistan, and is considered by many economists to be one of the prime reasons for Pakistan's 8% GDP growth across 2005.. Recent report by Credit Suisse on Pakistan's stock market is a testimonial to the strong fundamentals, which estimates Pakistan’s relative return on equities at 26.7 percent compares to Asia’s 11 percent.

Recently, Karachi has seen an expansion of information and communications technology and electronic media and has become the software outsourcing hub of Pakistan. Call centres for foreign companies have been targeted as a significant area of growth, with the government making efforts to reduce taxes by as much as 10% in order to gain foreign investments in the IT sector. Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi including world popular Business Plus, AAJ News, Geo TV, KTN, Sindh TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV ONE, ARY Digital, Indus Television NetworkSamaa tv and Dawn News as well as several local stations.

Karachi has several large industrial zones such as Karachi Export Processing Zone, SITE, Korangi, Northern Bypass Industrial Zone, Bin Qasim and North Karachi located on the fringes of the main city. The primary areas are textiles, pharmaceuticals, steel, and automobiles. In addition, Karachi has a vibrant cottage industry and there is a rapidly flourishing Free Zone with an annual growth rate of nearly 6.5%. The Karachi Expo Centremarker hosts many regional and international exhibitions. There are many development projects proposed, approved and under construction in Karachi. Among projects of note, Emaar Properties is proposing to invest $43bn (£22.8bn) in Karachi to develop Bundal Island, which is a 12,000 acre (49 km²) island just off the coast of Karachi. The Karachi Port Trust is planning a Rs. 20 billion, high Port Tower Complex on the Clifton shoreline. It will comprise a hotel, a shopping center, an exhibition center and a revolving restaurant with a viewing gallery offering a panoramic view of the coastline and the city.


Trend of population growth (in millions) in Karachi

The population and demographic distribution in Karachi has undergone numerous changes over the past 150 years. Non-governmental and international sources have estimated that Karachi's current population is about 12 to 18 million a huge increase over its population in 1947 (400,000). It is estimated that over 90% of its population are migrants from different backgrounds. The city's population is currently growing at about 5% per year (mainly on account of rural-urban internal migration), including an estimated 45,000 migrant workers coming to the city every month from different parts of Pakistan.

Before 1947, Karachi had communities of Sindhis, Balochs, Parsis, Hindus, Christian, Jews, Goans, Armenians, Chinese, British, Lebanese and Gujaratis. After independence of Pakistanmarker, a large number of Sindhi Hindus and Sindhi Sikhs left the city for Gujaratmarker, Rajasthanmarker, and Punjabmarker and were replaced by Muslim refugees also known as Muhajirs. The Muhajirs migrated from different parts of India however the majority of them spoke Urdu. Currently, Karachi has a cosmopolitan mix of many ethno-linguistic groups from all over Pakistanmarker and refugees from neighboring countries. The Sheedi, the local name for Afro-Pakistanis, trace their roots to African slaves.

After Pakistan's civil war in 1971, thousands of Biharis and Bengalis from Bangladeshmarker arrived in the city followed by the refugees from Burmamarker and Uganda. Since 1979, due to the Soviet war in Afghanistan and continued upheavals in their country, a steady stream of Afghan refugees have also taken up permanent residence in and around Karachi. These refugees now number more than one and a half million and comprise a number of ethnic groups, Mostly Pashtuns,and some Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Nuristani and Turkmen. Many other refugees from Iranmarker, Tajikistanmarker and Afghanistanmarker nations have also settled permanently in the city. With an estimated 4 million ethnic Pashtuns, Karachi hosts one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world.

According to the census of Pakistan 1998, the religious breakdown of the city is as follows: shia and sunni Muslim (96.45%), Christian (2.42%), Hindu (0.86%), Ahmadi muslim (0.17%) and Other (0.10%). (Other religious groups include Parsis, Sikhs, Bahai, Jews and Buddhists).

The most commonly spoken language in Karachi is Urdu, the national language. However Gujrati, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto and Balochi are also widely spoken in the city. As per the census of Pakistan 1998, linguistic distribution of the city is: Urdu (48.52%), Punjabi (13.42%), Pashto (11.94%) , Sindhi (7.22%), Balochi (4.34%), Saraiki (2.11%) and Other (12.44%). (Other languages mainly include Gujarati and Memoni with smaller populations of Dari, Brahui, Makrani, Hindko, Khowar, Burushaski, Arabic and Persian ).


Civic Centre.
Head Office of the City District Government, Karachi
The City of Karachi Municipal Act was promulgated in 1933. Initially the Municipal Corporation comprised the mayor, the deputy mayor and 57 councillors. The Karachi Municipal Corporation was changed to a Metropolitan Corporation in 1976. The administrative area of Karachi was a second-level subdivision known as Karachi Division, which was subdivided into five districts: Karachi Central, Karachi East, Karachi South, Karachi West and Malir. In 2000, the national government implemented a new devolution plan which abolished the second-tier divisions and merged the five districts of Karachi into a new City District, structured as a three-tiered federation, with the two lower tiers composed of 18 towns and 178 union councils (UC).

The towns are governed by elected municipal administrations responsible for infrastructure and spatial planning, development facilitation, and municipal services (water, sanitation, solid waste, repairing roads, parks, street lights, and traffic engineering), with some functions being retained by the City-District Government (CDG). The third-tier 178 union councils are each composed of thirteen directly elected members including a Nazim (mayor) and a Naib Nazim (deputy mayor). The UC Nazim heads the union administration and is responsible for facilitating the CDG to plan and execute municipal services, as well as for informing higher authorities about public concerns and complaints. Naimatullah Khan was the first Nazim of Karachi and Shafiq-Ur-Rehman Paracha was the first DCO of Karachi, Paracha even served as the last Commissioner of Karachi.

In the elections of 2005, Mustafa Kamal, a visionary leader, was elected City Nazim of Karachi to succeed Naimatullah Khan, and Nasreen Jalil was elected as the City Naib Nazim. Mustafa Kamal was previously the provincial minister for information technology in Sindh. Mustafa Kamal is advancing the development trail and has been actively involved in maintaining care of the city's municipal systems. Mustafa Kamal has completely changed the face of karachi city and started many development projects since than karachi has been converted into a real modern city his aim of making Karachi a new Dubai is up there. Recently Foreign Policy announced top three mayor of the world and one of them is Mustafa kamal as Mayor of the moment There are also six military cantonments administered by the Pakistan Army which do not form part of the City District Government of Karachi.


The education in Karachi is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees. Karachi has both public and private educational institutions from primary to university level. Most educational institutions are gender-based, from primary to university level. Pakistan's most prestigious school, Karachi Grammar School, is located in Karachi. It is the oldest school in Pakistan and has educated many Pakistani businessman and politicians.

The Narayan Jagannath High School in Karachi, which opened in October 1855, was the first government school established in Sindh. Karachi has well-known educational institutions of international standards. Most of Karachi's universities are considered to be among the premier educational institutions of Pakistan. In 2008-09, the city's literacy rate was estimated at 65.26%, the highest in Pakistan, with a gross enrolment ratio of 111%, the highest in Sindhmarker.Other well-known schools include Little Folks Secondary School, Habib Public School, Mama Parsi Girl School, Civilizations Public School, Ladybird Grammar School, The City School, Beaconhouse School System, Shahwilayat School, St. Patricks School, St. Josephs Convent School, St. Lawrences, and St. Michaels Convent.

The University of Karachimarker, also known simply as KU, is Pakistan's largest university, with a student population of 24,000 and one of the largest faculties in the world. It is located next to the NED University of Engineering and Technologymarker, the country's oldest engineering institute. The Plastics Technology Center (PTC), located in Karachi's Korangi Industrial Area, is at present Pakistan's only educational institution providing training in the field of polymer engineering and plastics testing services. The Institute of Business Administration , founded in 1955, is the oldest business school outside of North America. Alumni of IBA include former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology SZABIST, founded in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto, is also located in Karachi, with its other campuses in Islamabad, Larkana and Dubai. Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) is a part of NUST (National University of Sciences and Technology), offering a wide range of engineering programs, including Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Also located in Karachi is Hamdard University, which is the largest private university of Pakistan with an internationally known name. Karachi is also home of Head Office of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, which is the most prestigious institute in the country producing chartered accountants who are leading the corporate sector of the country. The Institute was established in 1961 and has since produced over 5,000 members. Leading medical schools of Pakistan like The Aga Khan Universitymarker and Dow University of Health Sciences have their campuses in Karachi. NUCES-FAST (National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences) formerly FAST-ICS, the leader in computer education in Pakistan, operates two campuses in Karachi.


Health and medicine

Karachi district is a centre of research in biomedicine. The City is home to at least 30 public hospitals and more than 80 private hospitals, including Institute for Heart diseases, Spencer eye Hospital, Civil Hospital, PNS Rahat, Abbassi Shaheed Hospital, Aga Khan University hospital, Holy family hospital and Liaqat National Hospital, as well as Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.Tabba Cardiac Medical Center,Patel Hospital, Layton Benovelant Eye Trust,Lady Dufferin Hospital,National Medical Center.


CNG Buses in Karachi
Native Jetty Overhead Bridge
The Jinnah International Airportmarker is located in Karachi.
It is the largest and busiest airport of Pakistan. It handles 10 million passengers a year. The airport also receives the largest number of foreign airlines, a total of 35 airlines and cargo operators fly to Jinnah International predominantly from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. All of Pakistan's airlines use Karachi as their primary transport hub including PIA - Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, and Shaheen Air International.

The city's old airport terminals are now used for Hajj flights, offices, cargo facilities, and ceremonial visits from heads of state. U.S. Coalition forces used the old terminals for their logistic supply operations as well. The city also has two other airstrips used primarily by the armed forces.

The largest shipping ports in Pakistan are the Port of Karachimarker and the nearby Port Qasimmarker. These seaports have modern facilities and not only handle trade for Pakistan, but also serve as ports for Afghanistan and the land-locked Central Asian countries. Plans have been announced for new passenger facilities at the Port of Karachi.

Karachi is linked by rail to the rest of the country by Pakistan Railways. The Karachi City Station and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station are the city's two major railway stations. The railway system handles a large amount of freight to and from the Karachi port apart from providing passenger services to people traveling up country.

Project to transform the existing, but non-operational Karachi Circular Railway into modern mass transit system has recently been approved by government. The $1.6 Billion project will be financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation and will be completed by 2013. City Government Karachi has also taken an initiative to alleviate the transport pains by introducing new CNG buses.

Challenges of rapid expansion

As one of the most rapidly growing cities in the world, Karachi faces challenges that are central to many developing metropolises including traffic congestion, pollution, poverty and street crimes. These problems continue to earn Karachi low rankings in livability comparisons: The Economist ranked Karachi fourth least livable city amongst the 132 cities surveyed and BusinessWeek ranked it 175 out of 215 in livability in 2007, down from 170 in 2006.

Traffic problems and pollution is a major challenge for Karachi. The level of air pollution in Karachi is estimated to be 20 times higher than World Health Organization standards. A number of new parks have been developed and new trees are being planted in the city to improve the environment and reduce the pollution.

Image gallery

Image: Park Tower Mall[2434]Image:Karachi Cinema.jpg|Millenium Mall, former Drive-in Cinema.Image:Market123.jpg|Empress MarketImage:Korangi Road Karachi.jpg|Korangi RoadImage:Chaukundi1.JPG|Chaukhandi tombsmarkerImage:Kanab beach.JPG|Karachi BeachImage:Karachi04.jpg|Elphinstone Street c. 1930Image:IICROAD.jpg|I. I. Chundrigar RoadImage:Mohatta Palace.jpg|Mohatta PalaceImage:Karachi St. Patricks Cathedral.jpg|Saint Patrick's CathedralFile:Kemari Boat Basin @ Karachi.jpg|Kemari Boat BasinmarkerImage:FishingshipsatKarachiHarbour.JPG|Fishing boats at the Port of Karachimarker.Image:CNBC Pakistan HQ at night.jpg|CNBC Pakistan's H.Q. at Techno City.

Sister cities

Country City District / Region / State Date
United Statesmarker Houstonmarker Texasmarker since 2008
Mauritiusmarker Port Louismarker since 1 May 2007
Chinamarker Shanghai 2009-09-14
Chinamarker Hong Kongmarker Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Saudi Arabiamarker Jeddahmarker Makkah Provincemarker
Uzbekistanmarker Tashkentmarker Tashkent Provincemarker
Turkeymarker Istanbulmarker Marmara
Lebanonmarker Beirutmarker Capital City
Turkeymarker İzmirmarker Aegean Region since 1985
United Statesmarker New York Citymarker New Yorkmarker 8 May 2008
Bahrainmarker Manamamarker Capital City 28 November 2007
Kosovomarker Pristinamarker District of Prizren 24 July 2008
Malaysiamarker Kuala Lumpurmarker Federal Territory 1 June 2008

A twin city partnership with Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker, United Statesmarker, was contemplated and initiated in 2000, but was never implemented.

See also


  1. UN world Urbanization Prospects estimate for 2007
  2. Pakistan City Karachi Online Information
  3. R Asif (2002) Lyari Expressway: woes of displaced families. Dawn . 8 August. Retrieved on 10 January 2008
  4. Mirat ul Memalik
  5. History of Karachi
  6. Christina P Harris (1969) The Persian Gulf Submarine Telegraph of 1864. The Geographical Journal. vol. 135(2). June. pp. 169-190
  7. [Herbert Feldman [1970]: Karachi through a hundred years: the centenary history of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry 1860-1960. 2. ed. Karachi: Oxford UP (1960).]
  8. - History of Karachi
  9. Government archives, Sindh for Municipality and divisional administration
  10. Planning Commission, The Second Five Year Plan: 1960-65, Karachi: Govt. Printing Press, 1960, p. 393
  11. Planning Commission, Pakistan Economic Survey, 1964-65, Rawalpindi: Govt. Printing Press, 1965, p. 212.
  12. Afghan refugees population in Pakistan - Cambridge Journal
  13. Economy and development - City District Government, Karachi
  14. - Colonial style buildings of Karachi
  15. Lady Dufferin Hospital
  16. - Historic buildings of Karachi
  17. MCB Tower, the current tallest skyscraper of Karachi
  18. Port Tower Complex, Karachi
  19. The All Pakistan Music Conference History of festival Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  20. [DHA golf Club, Karachi]
  21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8345177.stm
  22. Business Week magazine (22 April 2005) Pakistan: After the Crash Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  23. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=ENGRO%3APA&sid=afU5S7jTdEl4
  24. Board of Investment, Pakistan IT Sector Overview Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  26. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry Industrial Zones In PakistanRetrieved on 1 January 2008
  27. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Karachi Expo Center Retrieved on 1 January 2007
  28. BBC News Pakistan agrees $43bn development Retrieved on 1 January, Al-Nakheel (Dubai Based Company) has prepared a masterplan for devloping Hawks Bay with a cost of $68bn, Limiless (Dubai Based Company) will also invest in Karachi Waterfront Project by investing $20bn for developing 2000acre land of 20000 acre, 2008
  29. Series Overview: The Urban Frontier — Karachi, NPR.org, 2 June 2008
  30. KARACHI: Karachi population to hit 27.5 million in 2020, DAWN - Local; 10 July 2007
  31. Note: The 1998 census showed a population of about 9 million and the City Government estimates "more than 15 million inhabitants". Reasons for the discrepancy include workers living in Karachi but registered as living elsewhere in Pakistan by NADRA (the National Database and Registration Authority); and Afghan refugees, Iranians and others (Indians, Nepalis, Burmese, Bangladeshis etc..) were not counted in the 1998 census.
  32. " In a city of ethnic friction, more tinder". The National. August 24, 2009.
  33. Geography and demography of Karachi
  34. ‘Sheedis have been hurt most by attitudes’, Dawn , June 23, 2008
  35. UN Refugee Agency Case Study: Afghans in Pakistan Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  36. " Spate of shootings kill 29 in Karachi". Guardian.co.uk. April 30, 2009.
  37. All Pakistan Ranking Of Districts by Literacy Rates and Illiterates
  38. Ranking of districts by literacy rates and illiterates (By 10+ and 15+ Years Age Groups)
  39. Federal Bureau of Statistics
  40. http://www.ptc.org.pk/
  41. Business Week, Karachi Livable Cities Guide. Retrieved 2008.

Further reading

External links

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