Theme Week Pakistan – Karachi

Saturday, 27 June 2020 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0

Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the largest city in Pakistan, and seventh largest city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta-global city, with an estimated GDP of $114 billion (PPP) as of 2014. Karachi is Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city, its most linguistically, ethnically, and religiously diverse city, as well as one of Pakistan’s most secular and socially liberal cities. With its location on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan’s two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as Pakistan’s busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.

Though the Karachi region has been inhabited for millennia, the city was founded as the fortified village of Kolachi in 1729. The settlement drastically increased in importance with the arrival of British East India Company in the mid 19th century. The British embarked on major works to transform the city into a major seaport, and connected it with their extensive railway network. By the time of the Partition of British India, the city was the largest in Sindh with an estimated population of 400,000. Following the independence of Pakistan, the city’s population increased dramatically with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from India. The city experienced rapid economic growth following independence, attracting migrants from throughout Pakistan and South Asia. Karachi’s total population was enumerated at 16,051,521 and urban population was 14.9 million in the 2017 census. Karachi is one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and has communities representing almost every ethnic group in Pakistan. Karachi is home to more than two million Bangladeshi immigrants, a million Afghan refugees, and up to 400,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar.

Karachi is now Pakistan’s premier industrial and financial centre. The city has a formal economy estimated to be worth $114 billion as of 2014 which is the largest in Pakistan. Karachi collects more than a third of Pakistan’s tax revenue, and generates approximately 20% of Pakistan’s GDP. Approximately 30% of Pakistani industrial output is from Karachi, while Karachi’s ports handle approximately 95% of Pakistan’s foreign trade. Approximately 90% of the multinational corporations operating in Pakistan are headquartered in Karachi. Karachi is considered to be Pakistan’s fashion capital, and has hosted the annual Karachi Fashion Week since 2009.

Known as the “City of Lights” in the 1960s and 1970s for its vibrant nightlife, Karachi was beset by sharp ethnic, sectarian, and political conflict in the 1980s with the arrival of weaponry during the Soviet–Afghan War. The city had become well known for its high rates of violent crime, but recorded crimes sharply decreased following a controversial crackdown operation against criminals, the MQM political party, and Islamist militants initiated in 2013 by the Pakistan Rangers. As a result of the operation, Karachi went from being ranked the world’s 6th most dangerous city for crime in 2014, to 93rd by early 2020.

The city first developed around the Karachi Harbour, and owes much of its growth to its role as a seaport at the end of the 18th century, contrasted with Pakistan’s millennia-old cities such as Lahore, Multan, and Peshawar. Karachi’s Mithadar neighbourhood represents the extent of Kolachi prior to British rule. British Karachi was divided between the “New Town” and the “Old Town”, with British investments focused primarily in the New Town. The Old Town was a largely unplanned neighbourhood which housed most of the city’s indigenous residents, and had no access to sewerage systems, electricity, and water. The New Town was subdivided into residential, commercial, and military areas. Given the strategic value of the city, the British developed the Karachi Cantonment as a military garrison in the New Town to aid the British war effort in the First Anglo-Afghan War. The city’s development was largely confined to the area north of the Chinna Creek prior to independence, although the seaside area of Clifton was also developed as a posh locale under the British, and its large bungalows and estates remain some of the city’s most desirable properties. The aforementioned historic areas form the oldest portions of Karachi, and contain its most important monuments and government buildings, with the I. I. Chundrigar Road being home to most of Pakistan’s banks, including the Habib Bank Plaza which was Pakistan’s tallest building from 1963 until the early 2000s. Situated on a coastal plain northwest of Karachi’s historic core lies the sprawling district of Orangi. North of the historic core is the largely middle-class district of Nazimabad, and upper-middle class North Nazimabad, which were developed in the 1950s. To the east of the historic core is the area known as Defence, an expansive upscale suburb developed and administered by the Pakistan Army. Karachi’s coastal plains along the Arabian Sea south of Clifton were also developed much later as part of the greater Defence Housing Authority project. Karachi’s city limits also include several islands, including Baba and Bhit Islands, Oyster Rocks, and Manora, a former island which is now connected to the mainland by a thin 12-kilometre long shoal known as Sandspit. The city has been described as one divided into sections for those able to afford to live in planned localities with access to urban amenities, and those who live in unplanned communities with inadequate access to such services. Up to 60% of Karachi’s residents live in such unplanned communities.

Hawks Bay Beach © NomanAhmed96/cc-by-sa-4.0 Port of Karachi © Sana Sneha/cc-by-sa-4.0 Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0 Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Head Office Building © Furqanlw/cc-by-sa-4.0 Mohatta Palace © KHALID KARACHIAN/cc-by-sa-4.0 Frere Hall © Asim Iftikhar Nagi/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0
Karachi is Pakistan’s financial and commercial capital. Since Pakistan’s independence, Karachi has been the centre of the nation’s economy, and remain’s Pakistan’s largest urban economy despite the economic stagnation caused by sociopolitical unrest during the late 1980s and 1990s. The city forms the centre of an economic corridor stretching from Karachi to nearby Hyderabad, and Thatta (Economy of Karachi). Today along with Pakistan’s continued economic expansion Karachi is now ranked third in the world for consumer expenditure growth with its market anticipated to increase by 6.6% in real terms in 2018 It is also ranked among the top cities in the world by anticipated increase of number of households (1.3 million households) with annual income above $20,000 dollars measured at PPP exchange rates by year 2025. The Global FDI Intelligence Report 2017/2018 published by Financial Times ranks Karachi amongst the top 10 Asia pacific cities of the future for FDI strategy.

Karachi is home to Pakistan and South Asia’s largest shopping mall, Lucky One Mall which hosts more than two hundred stores. According to TripAdvisor the city is also home to Pakistan’s favorite shopping mall, Dolmen Mall, Clifton which was also featured on CNN and the country’s favorite entertainment complex, Port Grand. In 2019 the city is expected to add another mega mall/entertainment complex at Bahria Icon Tower Clifton, Pakistan’s tallest skyscraper.

Karachi is a tourist destination for domestic and international tourists (List of beaches in Pakistan). Museums located in Karachi include the National Museum of Pakistan, Pakistan Air Force Museum, and Pakistan Maritime Museum. Parks located in Karachi include Bagh Ibne Qasim, Boat Basin Park, Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi Zoo, Hill Park, Safari Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah, PAF Museum Park and Maritime Museum Park.

Karachi has a collection of buildings and structures of varied architectural styles. The downtown districts of Saddar and Clifton contain early 20th-century architecture, ranging in style from the neo-classical KPT building to the Sindh High Court Building. Karachi acquired its first neo-Gothic or Indo-Gothic buildings when Frere Hall, Empress Market and St. Patrick’s Cathedral were completed. The Mock Tudor architectural style was introduced in the Karachi Gymkhana and the Boat Club. Neo-Renaissance architecture was popular in the 19th century and was the architectural style for St. Joseph’s Convent (1870) and the Sind Club (1883). The classical style made a comeback in the late 19th century, as seen in Lady Dufferin Hospital (1898) and the Cantt. Railway Station. While Italianate buildings remained popular, an eclectic blend termed Indo-Saracenic or Anglo-Mughal began to emerge in some locations. The local mercantile community began acquiring impressive structures. Zaibunnisa Street in the Saddar 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 examples of Mughal revival buildings. The Sindh Wildlife Conservation Building, located in Saddar, served as a Freemasonic Lodge until it was taken over by the government. There are talks of it being taken away from this custody and being renovated and the Lodge being preserved with its original woodwork and ornate wooden staircase. Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture is one of the prime examples of Architectural conservation and restoration where an entire Nusserwanjee building from Kharadar area of Karachi has been relocated to Clifton for adaptive reuse in an art school. The procedure involved the careful removal of each piece of timber and stone, stacked temporarily, loaded on the trucks for transportation to the Clifton site, unloaded and re-arranged according to a given layout, stone by stone, piece by piece, and completed within three months. Architecturally distinctive, even eccentric, buildings have sprung up throughout Karachi. Notable example of contemporary architecture include the Pakistan State Oil Headquarters building. The city has examples of modern Islamic architecture, including the Aga Khan University hospital, Masjid e Tooba, Faran Mosque, Bait-ul Mukarram Mosque, Quaid’s Mausoleum, and the Textile Institute of Pakistan. 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. I. I. Chundrigar Road features a range of extremely tall buildings. The most prominent examples include the Habib Bank Plaza, PRC Towers and the MCB Tower which is the tallest skyscraper in Pakistan (Pakistani architecture and List of tallest buildings in Karachi).

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, LonelyPlanet.com – Karachi, Wikitravel Karachi, Wikivoyage Karachi and Wikipedia Karachi. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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