Karachi Metropolis

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Clockwise from top: Karachi Skyline, KPT HQ, PRC Towers & PNSC, Karachi Market, Manora Lighthouse, Nagan Interchange and MA Jinnah Tomb.

Karachi (Sindhiڪراچي‎, Urduکراچی‎ / ALA-LCKarācī IPA: [kəˈrɑːˌtʃi]) is capital of province Sindh as well as the largest and most populous metropolitan city of Pakistan and the 2nd-largest city in the world by population.[7] It is also the main seaport and financial centre of the country. Karachi is also known as City of Lights mainly due to city's night life, for which it is famous as the city which never sleeps. Karachi metro has an estimated population of over 23.5 million people as of 2013,[1] and area of approximately 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi),[8][9] resulting in a density of more than 6,000 people per square kilometre (15,500 per square mile).[10]

Karachi is the 7th largest[11][12] urban agglomeration in the world and the largest city in the Muslim world.[13] It is Pakistan's centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a hub of higher education in South Asia and theMuslim world.[14]

Karachi is also ranked as a beta world city.[15][16] It was the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a capital to spread development evenly across the country and to prevent it from being concentrated in Karachi.[17]Karachi is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region's largest and busiest ports. After the independence of Pakistan, the city population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of MuslimMuhajirs from India and from other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi.[18]

The city is located on the Arabian Sea coastline. It is also known as the Uroos ul Bilaad "The Bride of the Cities" and the "City of Lights",[19][20] for its liveliness,[citation needed] and the "City of the Quaid", having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independence from the British Raj on 14 August 1947. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, In 2009 Karachi had a total GDP of $78 billion with conservative projections expecting it to rise to $193 billion in 2025.

Official seal of Karachi
Seal
Nickname(s): The Gateway to Pakistan, The City of Lights, Mini Pakistan, Capital of Sindh , The City Of Quaid
Karachi is located in Sindh
Karachi
Karachi
Location of Karachi in Pakistan
Coordinates: 24°51′36″N 67°0′36″ECoordinates24°51′36″N 67°0′36″E
Country  Pakistan
Province Sindh
Metropolitan Corporation 2011
City Council City Complex, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town
Districts [2]
Government[5]
 • Type Metropolitan City
 • City Administrator M. Hussain Syed[3]
 • Municipal commissioner Matanat Ali Khan[4]
Area[6]
 • Total 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi)
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 23,500,000[1]
 • Rank 1st (Pakistan)2nd (World)
Demonym Karachiite
Time zone PST (UTC+05:00)
Postal codes 74XXX – 75XXX
Dialling code +9221-XXXX XXXX
Website www.kmc.gos.pk

 

History

Founding and Early History

The Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites found by Karachi University team on the Mulri Hills, in front of Karachi University Campus, constitute one of the most important archaeological discoveries made in Sindh during the last fifty years. The last hunter-gatherers, who left abundant traces of their passage, repeatedly inhabited the Hills. Some twenty different spots of flint tools were discovered during the surface surveys.

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 ValleyMorontobara (probably Manora island near Karachi harbour), from whence Alexander's admiralNearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in AD 712.[22]

Karachi was reputedly founded as "Kolachi" by Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area.[23] 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" survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named Mai Kolachi in Balochi.

Mughal Empire

Mirza Ghazi Beg, the Mughal administrator of Sindh, is among the first historical figures credited for the development of coastal Sindh (consisting of regions such as the Makran coast and the Indus delta),[where?] including the cities of ThattaBhambore and Karachi. During the rule of the Mughal administrator of SindhMirza Ghazi Beg the city was well fortified against Portuguese colonial incursions in Sindh. Debal and the Manora Island and was visited by Ottoman admiral Seydi Ali Reisand mentioned in his book Mir'ât ül Memâlik in 1554. The ancient names of Karachi included: KrokolaBarbarikonNawa NarRambaghKurruckAuranga Bandar,MinnagaraKolachiMorontobaraKolachi-jo-GothBanbhoreDebalBarbarice and Kurrachee.[24][25]

The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1720s, the village was trading across theArabian Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. The local Sindhi populace built a small fort, that was constructed for the protection of the city, armed with cannons imported by Sindhi sailors from Muscat, Oman. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) (Kharadar) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar), which correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar and Mithadar.

The name Karachi was used for the first time in a Dutch document of 1742, when a merchant ship de Ridderkerk shipwrecked nearby its coast.[26][27]

The region continued to be ruled by the Talpur Amir's of Sindh who remained under nominal suzerainty of the Mughals till 1843.

British Raj

 
D. J. Science College in the 19th century

After some exploratory missions to the area, the British East India Company captured the town when HMS Wellesleyanchored off Manora island on 1 February 1839. Two days later, the little fort surrendered.[28] The town was later annexed to British East India Company held territories in India when parts of Sindh was captured by Major General Charles James Napier after their victory in the Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843.

On his departure in 1847, Napier is said to have remarked, "Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!" Karachi was made the capital of Sindh after British victory in 1843. On Napier's departure, it was added along with the rest of Sindh to the Bombay Presidency, a move that caused 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 River basin, and developed its harbour for shipping. The foundations of a city municipal government were laid down and infrastructure development was undertaken. New businesses opened up and the population of the town began rising.

The arrival of the troops of the Company Bahadur in 1843 spawned the foundation of the new section, the military cantonment. The cantonment formed the basis of the 'white' town, where the local population had limited access. This town was modelled after English industrial parent-cities, where work and residential spaces were separated, as were residential from recreational places. The 'native' town in the northwest, was enlarged to accommodate the burgeoning mercantile population. When the Indian Rebellion of 1857 broke out in South Asia, the 21st Native Infantry, then stationed in Karachi, declared allegiance to rebels and joining their numbers on 10 September 1857. Nevertheless, the British were able to quickly reassert control over Karachi and defeat the uprising. Officer William 'Waf' Frost was considered to be instrumental in quelling the rebellion and was rewarded for his valor with an Order of the British Empire. This was awarded to him on 23 April 1858. However, he remains unpopular in areas of Karachi to this day.

 
Elphinstone Street in 1930

In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from South Asia to England, when a direct telegraph connection was laid between Karachi and London.[29] 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 Pakistan, was born in the city according to some accounts, which by now had become a bustling city with mosques, temples, courthouses, paved streets and a harbour. By 1899, Karachi had become the largest wheat exporting port in the East.[30] Before 1880 the majority of the population of Karachi consisted of the indigenous Sindhisand Balochis (who also spoke Sindhi as a second language).

These developments in Karachi resulted in an influx of economic migrants: ParsisHindus, Christians, JewsMarathis,Goan Christian, Chinese, British, Arabs and Gujaratis. The population of the city was about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century, with a mix of nationalities. British colonialists embarked on works of sanitation and transportation – such as gravel paved streets, drains, street sweepers, and a network of Trams and horse-drawn trolleys.

Karachi Post-Independence

By the time of Pakistan's independence in 1947, Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with slightly under half a million people, and classical and colonial European styled buildings lining the city's thoroughfares. Karachi was chosen as the capital of Pakistan, which at the time included present-day Bangladesh, approximately 1,000 km (620 mi) to the east, and not physically connected to Pakistan. In 1947, Karachi was the focus for settlement by Muslim Muhajirs fleeing from the anti-Muslim pogroms in India, who expanded the city's population and transformed its demographics and economy.

 
The Hindu Gymkhana Building was built by wealthy Hindus migrated after the independence of Pakistan. The building was adaptively reused and now houses the National Academy of Performing Arts.

In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi. The foreign embassies in Karachi moved to the newly developed capital Islamabad, near Rawalpindi. There are Consulates and Honorary Consulates as Diplomatic missions in Karachi.

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 Korea, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan" and the World Financial Center in Seoul is designed and modeled after Karachi.[31][32] Karachi had both a municipal corporation and a Karachi Divisional Council in the 1960s, which developed schools, colleges, roads, municipal gardens, and parks. The Karachi Divisional Council had working committees for education, roads, and residential societies development and planning.[33] In the late 1960s, the capital shifted from Rawalpindi to the newly built Islamabad. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development.

The 1970s also saw major labour struggles in Karachi's industrial estates. The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of thousands ofAfghan refugees from the Soviet war in Afghanistan into Karachi; they were followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iran.[34] Karachi ethnic groups included: MuhajirsSindhisPunjabisKashmirisSeraikisPakhtunsBalochisMemons,BohrasIsmailis, etc. After the 1970s Karachi has become home to about five to seven million Pashtuns, which is more thanKhyber Pakhtunkhwa.[35][36] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ethnic and political violence broke out across the city between Muhajir followers of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement fought with ethnic Sindhis, Pashtuns, Punjabis, and security forces. As a result, the Army was deployed to restore peace in the city.[37]

Today, Karachi is an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the world, mainly the Asian countries. It accounts for a significant share of the GDP of Pakistan.[38]

Geography

 
Satellite view of Karachi

City geographic coordinates are 24°51′ N 67°02′ E. Most of the land consisted 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 toward the southeast side of the city. Toward the west and the north is Cape Monze, locally known as Ras Muari, an area marked by projecting sea cliffs and rocky sandstone promontories. Some excellent beaches can be found in this area.Khasa Hills and Mulri Hills lie in the northwest and form the border betweenNorth Nazimabad Town[39] and Orangi Town. The Manghopir Hills lies northwest of Karachi, between Hub River and Manghopir. The hills in Karachi are the off-shoots of the Kirthar Range. The highest point of these hills in Karachi is about 528m in the extreme north. All these hills are devoid of vegetation and have wide intervening plains, dry river beds and water channels.[40] The rivers in Karachi are Malir River and Lyari River. The Indus River flood plain is near Karachi. The city is located on the Arabian Sea coastline. It is known as the Uroos ul Bilaad "The Bride of the Cities" and the "City of Lights",[19][20] for its liveliness,[citation needed] and the "City of the Quaid", having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independencefrom the British Raj on 14 August 1947.

Climate

Main article: Climate of Karachi
 
Sunset in Karachi

Located on the coast, Karachi has an arid climate with low average precipitation levels (approx. 250 mm (9.8 in) per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July–Augustmonsoon season. Winters are warm and dry, while the summers are hot and humid; the proximity to the sea maintains humidity levels at a near-constant high and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. December and January are dry and pleasant as compared to the warm summers that dominate through the late spring (March) to the pre-monsoon season (June). Compared to other parts of Pakistan, Karachi's weather is considered mild and can be compared to Florida's weather (except for the precipitation).

The city's highest monthly rainfall, 429.3 mm (16.90 in), occurred in July 1967.[41] The city's highest rainfall in 24 hours occurred on 7 August 1953, when about 278.1 millimetres (10.95 in) of rain lashed the city, resulting in major flooding.[42] Karachi's highest recorded temperature is 47 °C (117 °F), which was recorded on 18 June 1979,[41] and the lowest is 0.0 °C (32.0 °F), recorded on 21 January 1934.[41]

 

[hide]Climate data for Karachi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.8
(91)
36.1
(97)
41.5
(106.7)
44.4
(111.9)
47.8
(118)
47.0
(116.6)
42.2
(108)
41.7
(107.1)
42.8
(109)
43.3
(109.9)
38.5
(101.3)
34.5
(94.1)
47.8
(118)
Average high °C (°F) 25.8
(78.4)
27.7
(81.9)
31.5
(88.7)
34.3
(93.7)
35.2
(95.4)
34.8
(94.6)
33.1
(91.6)
31.7
(89.1)
32.6
(90.7)
34.7
(94.5)
31.9
(89.4)
27.4
(81.3)
31.7
(89.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
20.2
(68.4)
24.5
(76.1)
28.3
(82.9)
30.5
(86.9)
31.4
(88.5)
30.3
(86.5)
28.9
(84)
28.9
(84)
27.9
(82.2)
23.9
(75)
19.5
(67.1)
26.0
(78.8)
Average low °C (°F) 10.4
(50.7)
12.7
(54.9)
17.6
(63.7)
22.3
(72.1)
25.9
(78.6)
27.9
(82.2)
27.4
(81.3)
26.1
(79)
25.2
(77.4)
21.0
(69.8)
15.9
(60.6)
11.6
(52.9)
20.3
(68.5)
Record low °C (°F) 0.0
(32)
3.3
(37.9)
7.0
(44.6)
12.2
(54)
17.7
(63.9)
22.1
(71.8)
22.2
(72)
20.0
(68)
18.0
(64.4)
10.0
(50)
6.1
(43)
1.3
(34.3)
0.0
(32)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 6.0
(0.236)
9.8
(0.386)
11.7
(0.461)
4.4
(0.173)
0.0
(0)
5.5
(0.217)
85.5
(3.366)
67.4
(2.654)
19.9
(0.783)
1.0
(0.039)
1.8
(0.071)
4.4
(0.173)
217.4
(8.559)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 270.7 249.4 271.6 277.4 299.1 231.8 155.0 147.7 218.8 283.5 273.3 272.0 2,950.3
Source #1: NOAA[43]
Source #2: PMD (extremes)[44]

 

Cityscape

 
Skyline of Karachi as seen from the I.I. Chundrigar Road.

The oldest portions of Karachi were laid out in a manner typical of cities in South Asia. A small settlement developed around the present day neighborhood ofMithadar. This original portion of the city was encircled by a short wall. When the British conquered Sindh in the 19th century, Karachi witnessed explosive growth. Initially the areas around Mithadar, such as KharadarJodia Bazar, and Sarafa Bazar were to witness growth and development along the lines of growth in the earlier Mithadar neighborhood - that is, with narrow winding streets with shops on the ground floors of buildings, and warehouse and living quarters above. Several of the streets in these areas reflect the area's formerly strong Hindu influences, such as Daryalal StreetRam Bharti Street, and Virjee Street. Rapid growth ensued after the British laid out the spacious and sprawling Karachi Cantonment to the east of the so-called "Native Town." As the British expanded their rule in Sindh, they set out to create grand civic buildings. Examples such as the Karachi Municipal Corporation building, and the Karachi Port Trust Building were located in the "Native Town," while other buildings such as the Diwan Dayaram Jethamal Science College, and Frere Hall from 1865 were built in the colonial administrative center. The British also built large churches in the city, such as the St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 
The Karachi Port Trust building, completed in 1915.
 
Karachi at night
 
Karachi cityscapes
 
view of Korangi road Karachi
 
Karachi at night

As the British presence grew in the area, the native population expanded as the city became an important trading center. The areas to the north and northeast of the city grew rapidly without urban planning, resulting in the regions of Karachi today comprising Lyari Town. To the north of the colonial center grew fashionable neighborhoods for Karachi's wealthy natives in places such as Garden. The British also developed the neighborhood



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