Karachi is the provincial capital of Sindh province and the largest city in Pakistan. It is also, population-wise, the second largest city in the world and is located on the northern shores of the Arabian Sea, west of the Indus River Delta. It was the original capital of Pakistan and remains the cultural and economic hub, as well as the largest seaport of the country. Its leading economic sectors include finance, business services, transportation, media, television production, publishing, software, medical research, education and tourism.
Spread over 3,530 square kilometres (1,363 sq mi), the city and suburbs comprise the world’s twentieth largest metropolitan areaThe city credits its growth to the mixed populations of economic and political migrants and refugees from different national, provincial, linguistic and religious origins who have largely come to settle here permanently. Its population is dominated by the Urdu Speaking Majority called “Muhajirs” or the post independence (after 1947) migrators from India. It is locally termed as the “City of Lights” for its liveliness and the “City of the Quaid” having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, as well as his home after 1947.
The Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran established a small settlement of fishing communities, many of whom still inhabit sections of Sindh, and called it Kolachi. The modern port-city of Karachi, however, was developed by authorities of the British Raj in the 19th century. Upon the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the city was selected to become the national capital, and was settled by refugees from India, which radically expanded the city’s population and transformed the demographics and economy. Karachi has faced major infrastructural and socio-economic challenges, but modern industries and businesses have developed in the city.
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 valley; ‘Morontobara’ (probably Manora island near Karachi harbour), 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 CE.
The city was visited by Ottoman Admiral Sidi Ali Reis in 1550s and mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries), 1557 CE . The present city started life as a fishing settlement when a Baluchi 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 Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf 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) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Mitta Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) . The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khara Dar) and Mithadar
In 1795, the village became a domain of the Balochi Talpur rulers. A small factory was opened by the British in September 1799, but was closed down within a year. After sending a couple of exploratory missions to the area, the British East India Company conquered the town on February 3, 1839. The town was later annexed to the British Indian Empire when Sindh was conquered by Charles James Napier in 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. The British realized the importance of the city as a military cantonment and as a port for exporting the produce of the Indus River 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.
In 1857, the First Indian War for Independence broke out in the subcontinent and the 21st Native Infantry stationed in Karachi declared allegiance to rebels, joining their cause on September 10, 1857. Nevertheless, the British were able to quickly reassert control over Karachi and defeat the uprising. Karachi was known as Khurachee Scinde (i.e. Karachi, Sindh) during the early British colonial rule.
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 Pakistan, was born in the city, which by now had become a bustling city with churches, mosques, courthouses, markets, 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 Hindus, Muslims, Europeans, Jews, Parsis, Iranians, Lebanese, and Goans. By the turn of the century, the city faced street congestion, which led to India’s first tramway system being laid down in 1900.
By the time the new country of Pakistan was formed in 1947, 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 and accommodated a huge influx of migrants and refugees after partition. The demographics of the city changed dramatically but it still maintained cultural diversity as new residents arrived from all parts of India. In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi and then to Islamabad in 1960. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development. The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of refugees from the Afghan war into Karachi. Political tensions between the Muhajir groups (descendants of migrants from the partition era) and other groups also erupted and the city was wracked with political and sectarian violence. Most of these tensions have now simmered down.
Karachi continues to be an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the central Asian countries. It accounts for a large portion of the GDP of Pakistan and a large proportion of the country’s white collar workers. Karachi’s population has continued to grow and is estimated to have passed the 20 million mark, although official figures still show a population of around 14.5 million.aThe current economic boom in Pakistan has also resulted in a new period of resurgence in the economy of Karachi.
The area of Karachi has been 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 valley; ‘Morontobara’ port (probably the modern Manora Island near the Karachi harbor), from where Alexander’s admiral Nearchus sailed for back home; and Barbarikon, a sea port of the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom. It was also known as the port of Debal to the Arabs, from where Muhammad Bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in 712AD. According to the British historian Eliot, parts of city of Karachi and the island of Manora constituted the city of Debal.
According to legend however, the present city started its life as a fishing settlement where a fisherwoman by the name of Mai Kolachi took up residence and started a family. The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (The Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1700’s this village started trading across the sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region which led to its gaining importance, and a small fort was constructed for its protection with a few canons imported from Muscat. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Khara Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) and the other facing the adjoining Lyari river known as the Meetha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate). The location of these gates corresponds to the present-day city localities of Khaaradar (Khara Dar) and Meethadar (Mi?ha Dar) respectively.
Talpur Period (1795 – 1839)
In 1795, Kolachi-jo-Goth passed on from the control of the Khan of Kalat to becoming a domain of the Talpur rulers of Sindh. The British, venturing and enterprising in South Asia opened a small factory here in September 1799, which got closed down within a year owing to some disputes with the ruling Talpurs. But this village by the mouth of the Indus river had caught the attention of the British East India Company who, after sending a couple of exploratory missions to the area, conquered the town on February 3rd, 1839.
Company Rule (1839 – 1858)
The village was later annexed to the British Indian Empire when the province of Sindh was conquered by Charles Napier in 1843. The capital of Sind was shifted from Hyderabad to Karachi in the 1840s. This led to a turning point in the city’s history.
In 1847, on Napier’s departure the entire province was added to the Bombay Presidency. The post of the governor was abolished and that of the Chief Commissioner in Sind established.
The British realized its importance as a military cantonment and a port for the produce of the Indus basin, and rapidly developed its harbor for shipping. The foundations of a city municipal government were laid down by the Commissioner in Sinde, Bartle Frere and infrastructure development was undertaken. Consequently, new businesses started opening up and the population of the town started rising rapidly. Karachi quickly turned into a city, making true the famous quote by Napier who is known to have said: Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!
In 1857, the First Indian War for Independence broke out in the sub-continent and the 21st Native Infantry stationed in Karachi declared their allegiance to the rebels and joined their cause on September 10, 1857. However, the British quickly defeated the uprising and reasserted their control over Karachi. Karachi was known as Khurachee Scinde (i.e. Karachi, Sindh) during the early British colonial rule.
The British Raj (1858 – 1947)
In 1864, a direct telegraph connection was laid down between Karachi and London from where the first telegraphic message was sent from India to England. In 1878, the city was connected to the rest of British India by railway line. Public building projects such as the Frere Hall (1865) and the Empress Market (1890) were undertaken. In 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was born in the city which by now had become a bustling city with railroad, churches, mosques, courthouses, markets, paved streets and a magnificent harbour. The opening of the Suez canal in 1869 also added to the importance of the city’s port. The Karachi Port Trust was established in 1886 and by 1899 Karachi had become the largest wheat exporting port in the East (Feldman 1970:57). The population of the city had also risen to about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century and was a cosmopolitan mix of Indian Hindus and Muslims, European traders, Parsis, Iranians, Lebanese, and Goan merchants. The population of the city grew from 73,500 (1881), to 105,199 (1891), to 115,407 (1901) (Britannica 1911 ed.) and by the turn of the century, the city faced street congestion for which, India’s first tramway system was laid down in Karachi in 1900.
In 1911 when the capital was shifted to Delhi, Karachi became closer to being a gateway to India and by 1914, Karachi had become the largest grain exporting port of the British Empire. In 1924, an aerodrome was built and Karachi became the main airport of entry into India. An airship mast was also built in Karachi in 1927 as part of the Imperial Airship Communications scheme, which was later abandoned. In 1836, Sindh was separated from the Bombay Presidency and Karachi was made the capital of the new province. By the time the new country of Pakistan was formed in 1947 as British India was gained independence, Karachi had become a bustling metropolitan city with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings lining the city’s thoroughfares.
Pakistan’s Capital (1947 – ?)
Karachi was chosen as the capital city of Pakistan and accommodated a huge influx of migrants and refugees to the newly formed country. As a consequence, the demographics of the city also changed drastically. However, it still maintained a great cultural diversity as its new inhabitants arrived from all the different parts of the subcontinent, bringing with them a colourful mix of regional cultures. In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was shifted from Karachi to Rawalpindi and then to Islamabad in 1960.
This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city owing to a lack of governmental attention and development. The city’s population continued to grow exceeding the capacity of its creaking infrastructure and increased the pressure on the city. The 1980’s and 90’s also saw an influx of Afghan refugees from the Afghan war into Karachi. Political tensions between the Mohajir groups (descendants of migrants from the partition era) and other groups also erupted and the city was wracked with political and sectarian violence.
Since the last couple of years however, most of these tensions have largely simmered down. Karachi continues to be an important financial and industrial centre for the country and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the Central Asian countries. It accounts for a large portion of the GDP of Pakistan and a large chunk of the country’s white collar workers. Karachi’s population has continued to grow and is estimated to have passed the 12 million mark. Currently, Karachi is a melting pot where people from all the different parts of Pakistan can be found. The current economic boom in Pakistan has also resulted in a new period of resurgence in the economy of Karachi and a lot of new opportunities have opened up in the city. The city government is also undertaking a massive upgrading of the city’s infrastructure which promises to again put Karachi into the lineup of one of the world’s greatest metropolitan cities.
Geography and climate
Karachi is located in the south of Sindh, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The city covers an area of approximately 3,530 square kilometres (1,363 sq mi), comprised largely of flat or rolling plains, with hills on the western and northern boundaries of the urban sprawl. Two rivers pass through the city: the River Malir which flows from the east towards the south and centre, and the River Lyari, which flows from north to the south west. The Port of Karachi is a sheltered bay to the south-west of the city, protected from storms by the Sandspit Beach, the Manora Island and the Oyster Rocks. The Arabian Sea beach lines the southern coastline of Karachi. Dense 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 Monze, 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.
Located on the coast, Karachi tends to have a relatively mild climate with low levels of average precipitation (approximately 10 inches 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, ranging from weddings to charity fundraisers, frequently take place. Tourists and expatriates visit Karachi in these months, Highest recorded is 47.8 °C (118.0 °F) and lowest is 0 °C (32 °F).
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)
” Malir Town
” Shah Faisal Town
” Landhi Town
” Korangi Town
” Bin Qasim Town
” Gadap Town
” Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town
” Jamshed Town
” Gulberg Town
” Liaquatabad Town
” North Nazimabad Town
” New Karachi Town
” Orangi Town
” Baldia Town
” SITE town
” Lyari Town
” Saddar Town
” Keamari Town
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.
In the elections of 2005, Mustafa Kamal 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. His predecessor, Naimatullah Khan was chosen as one of the best mayors in Asia. Mustafa Kamal is advancing the development trail left by Naimatullah Khan, and has been actively involved in maintaining care of the city’s municipal systems.. There are also six military cantonments administered by the Pakistan Army which do not form part of the City of Karachi. These cantonment have a very little population but covers a very large area (about 40% of the total area of Karachi) &
most expensive land of Karachi.
” Karachi Cantonment
” Clifton Cantonment
” Faisal Cantonment
” Malir Cantonment
” Korangi Creek Cantonment
” Manora Cantonment
The population and demographic distribution in Karachi has undergone numerous changes over the past 150 years. Non-governmental and international sources estimate Karachi’s current population at about 10 million a huge increase over its population in 1947 (400,000). 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 large Sindhi communities of Parsis, Jews, Armenians, Hindus, Christians, Balochis and Gujaratis. After independence, a large number of Sindhi Hindus left the city for India and were replaced by Indian refugees. The Indian refugees migrated from different parts of India. Currently, the native Sindhis and continuing migration from different parts of Pakistan and India have contributed to a very cosmopolitan mix of residents.
The new government allotted much of the property left by the departing Sindhis to the Indian refugees. However, the Indian refugees also formed the political minorty in the city, which gave them substantial political clout, to the native Sindhi inhabitants.
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 half million and comprise a number of ethnic groups: Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Nuristani and Turkmen.
The current estimated linguistic distribution of the city is: Urdu: 38.52%; Sindhi: 29.34%;Punjabi: 10.64%; Pashto: 8.96%; Balochi: 4.34%; Saraiki: 2.11%; others: 6.09%. The others include Dari, Gujarati, Dawoodi Bohra, Memon, Marwari, Brahui, Makrani, Khowar, Burushaski, Arabic, Persian and Bengali.
The religious breakup of the city is as follows: Muslim: 94.50%; Hindu: 5.35%; Christian: 1.9%; Ahmadi: 0.17%; others 0.13%. The others include Parsis, Jews, Orthodox and Buddhists
Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan; it accounts for a lion’s share of Pakistan’s revenue generation. It generates over 65% of the total national revenue (federal and provincial taxes, customs and surcharges), Although a larger part of this amount account for as indirect tax contribution. Karachi produces about 42 percent of value added in large scale manufacturing and 25% of the GDP of Pakistan. In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan
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. During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world, and there was much praise for the way its economy was progressing. 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 World Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modeled after Karachi.
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 80% in order to gain foreign investments in the IT sector In April 2008, the City District Government build a Control Unit(CU) which accommodate the world largest data center. With the help of this CU, every road in Karachi is monitored through a very high resolution camera, which even capture the number plate and the face of driver with in a second and send it to the CU. These cameras are fixed 100 ft above to the ground. An additional security camera is also placed above the camera to ensure the security and theft issues of the camera. These security cameras are 300 ft above the ground.
Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi including world popular Geo Tv, KTN, Sindh TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV One, Indus Televisison Network and Dawn News as well as several local stations.
Karachi has several large industrial zones such as 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%.
Karachi has branches of major motor companies such as BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Land Rover, Rexton, Lexus, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, Dodge, GM Comapny, Hummer, Nissan, UD Nissan Diesel, Diahatsu, Suzuki, Kia, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Daewoo, Isuzu, Renault, Bedford, FAW, Geely, Proton, Chery, several automotive companies of china as well as the Adam Motor Company and HinoPak.
There are many development projects proposed, approved and under construction in Karachi city. 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, 1,947 feet (593 m) high Port Tower Complex on the Clifton shoreline. It 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.
Other projects include: MCB Tower (completed), Crescent Bay, Karachi (under construction), Karachi Waterfront (under construction), Karachi Creek Marina (under construction), Sugarland City (approved), Dolmen Towers (completed), I.T. Tower (under construction), Buddo Island (approved), Square One Towers (under construction), Sign Tower (under construction), Karachi Mass Transit System, Enshaa Towers (approved), Karachi FPCCI Tower (proposed), City Centre (proposed), Malir Expressway (proposed), Northern Bypass Industrial Area (under construction).
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 Lahore, 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 awaited anxiously and attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.
The Kara Film Festival organized annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries.
Karachi has a few museums including the Mohatta Palace Museum that regularly has exhibitions as well as the National Museum of Pakistan.
The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other Pakistani towns. The culture of Karachi is characterized by the blending of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, South Asian and Western influences, as well as the status of the city as a major international business centre. As a whole, there is considerable diversity in culture, and this diversity has produced unique cultural amalgam of its own type. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.
National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences main building, Karachi Campus
Main articles: List of schools in Karachi, List of colleges in Karachi, and List of universities in Karachi
The Narayan Jagannath High School at Karachi was the first government school established in Sindh. It was opened in October 1855. Karachi has well known educational institutes of international standards. Most universities of Karachi are considered to be amongst the premier educational institutions of Pakistan. For 2004-05, the city’s literacy rate was estimated at 65.26%, with a GER of 111%.
The University of Karachi, simply referred as KU, is the largest university in Pakistan having one of the largest faculities in the world. Coincidentally it is located beside the NED University, the oldest engineering institute of Pakistan. Karachi is also host to the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), founded in 1955 and the oldest business school outside North America. Alumni of IBA include former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. Other notable universities include Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, National University of Science and Technology, Hamdard University, Bahria University, Iqra University, Preston University, Federal Urdu University, National University of Modern Languages, Institute of Industrial Electronics Engineering, Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST), Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist), Institute of Business and Technology (BIZTEK), Pakistan Air Force Institute of Economics and Technology (PAF-KIET), college of Business Management, Virtual University of Karachi (introduced by the Science and Technology Ministry), Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Agha Khan Medical University, Dow University of Medical Sciences, Sindh Medical College, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical College, Dr. Ziauddin Medical University, Baqai Medical University, Sir Syed Medical College, Sindh Insitute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Preston insitute of Management Sciences & Technology (PIMSAT), Tabba Institute of Heart Disease, Liaqat National Medical College. Markaz-e-Umeed (the Hope Center) for special children is also working for betterment of Special Children since 1971.
Karachi Gymkhana Ground, overlooking downtown Karachi
Main article: List of sports venues in 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 can be seen at weekends when people play brightly lit night matches on less traversed city streets. The major venue for cricket matches is the National Stadium 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: ????). All Sindh Malh ?Organization hosts All Sindh Malakhirro every year in Karachi.
Other 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 always been a football-mad locality in Karachi. The Peoples Football Stadium 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 Cup Football Tournament 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 Khan Squash Complex) and polo. Marinas and Boating Clubs also add to the diverse sporting activities in Karachi.
Karachi has a number of sporting clubs such as the Karachi Gymkhana, the Sindh Club, the Karachi Club, Kashmir club, Aga Khan sports club, the Muslim Gymkhana, the Creek Club and the DHA Club 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.
The Jinnah International Airport is located in Karachi. It is the largest and busiest airport of the country. It handles 10 million passengers a year. The airport also receives the largest number of foreign airlines, a total of 27 airlines fly to Jinnah International predominantly from the Middle East and southeast Asia. All of Pakistan’s airlines use Karachi as their primary hub including PIA – Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, and Shaheen Air.
The city’s old airport terminals are now used for Hajj flights, commercial offices, cargo facilities, and ceremonial visits from heads of state. US 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 Karachi and the nearby Port Qasim. 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 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 travelling up country. Plans are underway to extend the intra-city railway system to play a part in the city’s mass transit through Karachi Circular Railway system. Currently, primarily motorists and minibuses handle commuter traffic, but there are plans to construct a light-rail based mass transit system in the city to decongest the roads and provide quick service to commuters. Feasibility studies have been carried out and a provisional network has been agreed on. The unofficial working title for the proposed mass transit system is “Duz” (Urdu ???), a contraction of the Urdu for “Underground Railway”
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 overcrowding, traffic, 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 Business Week ranked it 175 out of 215 in livability(2007), down from 170 in 2006.
The traffic and pollution is a major challenge for Karachi as it is for almost all the major cities in the world. 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.
Criminal negligence plagues the rapidly expanding infrastructure. There were floods reported in the city during the monsoon of 2007. The Northern Bypass bridge collapsed on 1st September 2007 after being inaugurated only one month back by President Pervez Musharraf.
Karachi currently has eight sister cities:
” Port Louis, Mauritius since May 1, 2007
” Shanghai, China
” Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
” Tashkent, Uzbekistan
” Istanbul, Turkey
” Izmir, Turkey, since 1985
” Houston, USA 8 May, 2008
” Paris, France