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Posted by bender 04/07/2009 @ 16:10

Tags : karachi, pakistan, asia, world

News headlines
Pakistan's Taliban Fight Threatens Key Economic Zone - Wall Street Journal
While foreign investors have shied away from Pakistan for months due to political turmoil and security concerns, the economy has so far avoided recession in the global downturn and Karachi shares have gained this year. But with recent advances,...
Federal Government orders crackdown against land mafia in Karachi - Online - International News Network
ISLAMABAD: Federal Government has constituted a high level committee to launch crackdown against land mafia in Karachi. Federal Interior Minister Abdul Rehman Malik informed Private TV Channel the committee has been constituted after consultation with...
Karachi: a stormy melting pot - guardian.co.uk
But politics has a way of corrupting solidarity There is no city in Pakistan quite like Karachi, the southern port city that is the nation's economic hub. Virtually every strand of Pakistani society is represented here, from working-class Punjabis,...
RTO Karachi misses direct tax target - Daily Times
By Muhammad Yasir KARACHI: The direct tax collection of Regional Tax Office (RTO) Karachi has frozen significantly as it received a meagre amount of revenue due to the economic slowdown and uncertain law and order situation in the city....
Flight handler Hadid opens office in Karachi - Aviation International News
Hadid International Services has expanded its aviation support network with a new branch office located at Karachi Airport in Pakistan, the farthest eastern point in the company's chain–thus far. “Hadid's Karachi branch office will be utilized to...
Karachi shuts down on May 12 anniversary - DAWN.com
By Imran Ayub KARACHI: The city remained virtually paralysed on Tuesday as daily life and business came to a grinding halt, with fear ruling the day. The Sindh government's decision to declare May 12 a holiday failed to give citizens the confidence to...
We will win this war, PM assures nation - Online - International News Network
We need to win heart and minds of IDPs who have left their homes due to war in Swat, he said, adding that, in the 2005 earthquake, the people response from Karachi to Khyber toward the affectees was unforgettable and we expect the same response for...
Newly-wed murdered in New Karachi - Daily Times
KARACHI: A newly-wed woman, Shafqat Bibi, 24, was shot dead over a domestic dispute within the limits of New Karachi police station. The incident took place at the house of the deceased's mother, located in Sector 5-J, Data Nagri, New Karachi Town late...
Polio drive fails to access 217000 children in Karachi - DAWN.com
By Mukhtar Alam In Karachi, where three of the four laboratory confirmed polio cases in Sindh were reported during the last four months, about 217000 (nine per cent) deserving children could not be vaccinated during the polio vaccination campaigns held...
City Council okays Rs 52.14bn budget - Daily Times
By Irfan Aligi KARACHI: The City Council has approved and ordered immediate dispatch of the Council Resolution (CR) 486 pertaining to the draft budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 to the City District Government Karachi after approving amendments and...


Pakistan Karachi Beach1.jpg

Karachi (help·info) (Sindhi: ڪراچي, Urdu: کراچی Karāchi) is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistan and the capital of the province of Sindh. It is the twentieth largest city of the world in terms of metropolitan population, and is Pakistan's premier centre of banking, industry, and trade. Karachi is also the home of Pakistan's largest corporations that are involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. It also serves as a major hub of higher education in South Asia, and the wider Islamic World .

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 Islamabad, and is the location of the Port of Karachi, Port Bin Qasim, one of the region's largest and busiest ports. The city's population has increased dramatically after the Partition of British India forced hundreds of thousands of refugees from India to settle in the city. Since independence from Britain in 1947, the city's vibrant economy has attracted migrants from all over Pakistan, surrounding countries such as Iran, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and further beyond. Despite a history of political turmoil, the city continues to attract those seeking prosperity and has shown consistent growth.

Karachi city is spread over 3,530 km² (2,193 sq mi) in area. 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.

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 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 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) (Kharadar)and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar). The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khārā Dar) and Mithadar (Mīṭhā Dar).

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.

On 1 February 1839 the town was conquered when an American ship the Wellesley anchored off Manora island. Two days later the little fort surrendered without a shot being fired on either side. The town was later annexed to the British Indian Empire when Sindh was conquered by Charles James Napier in Battle of Miani on February 17, 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 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.

The arrival of 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, comprised the Old Town, Napier Market and Bunder, while the 'white' town in the southeast comprised the Staff lines, Frere Hall, Masonic lodge, Sindh Club, Governor House and the Collectors Kutchery (IPA:kə.tʃɛh.ɹi) located in the Civil Lines Quarter. Saddar bazaar area and Empress Market were used by the 'white' population, while the Serai Quarter served the needs of the 'black' town.

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 10 September 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. AMR.

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 mosques, churches, 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 Muslims, Hindus, Europeans, Jews, Parsis, Iranians, Lebanese, and Goans. By the turn of the century, the city faced street congestion, which led to South Asia's first tramway system being laid down in 1900.

The city remained a small fishing village until the British seized control of the offshore and strategically located island of Manora. Thereafter, authorities of the British Raj embarked on a large-scale modernisation of the city in the 19th century with the intention of establishing a major and modern port which could serve as a gateway to Punjab, the western parts of British India, and Afghanistan. Britain's competition with imperial Russia during the Great Game also heightened the need for a modern port near Central Asia, and so Karachi prospered as a major centre of commerce and industry during the Raj, attracting communities of: Africans, Arabs, Armenians, Catholics from Goa, Jewish, Lebanese, Malays, and Zoroastrians (also known as Parsees) - in addition to the large number of British businessmen and colonial administrators who established the city's poshest locales, such as Clifton.

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. The city's wealthy elite also endowed the city with a large number of grand edifices, such as the elaborately decorated buildings that house social clubs, known as 'Gymkhanas.' Wealthy businessmen also funded the construction of the Jehangir Kothari Parade (a large seaside promenade) and the Frere Hall, in addition to the cinemas, and gambling parlours which dotted the city.

As the movement for independence almost reached its conclusion, the city suffered widespread outbreaks of communal violence between the majority Muslims and the minority Hindus, who were often targeted by the incoming Muslim refugees. In response to the perceived threat of Hindu domination, self preservation of identity, language and culture in combination with Sindhi Muslim resentment towards wealthy Sindhi Hindus, the province of Sindh became the first province of British India to pass the Pakistan Resolution, in favour of the creation of the Pakistani state. The ensuing turmoil of independence lead to the expulsion of most of Karachi's Hindu community. While many poor low caste Hindus, Christians, and wealthy Zoroastrians (Parsees) remained in the city, Karachi's native Sindhi Hindu community fled to India and was replaced by Muslim refugees who, in turn, had been uprooted from regions belonging to India.

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, which at the time also included modern day Bangladesh, a region located more than 1,000 km away and not physically connected to Pakistan. 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 Rawalpindi and then to the newly built 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, they were also followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iran. Political tensions between the Muhajir groups (descendants of migrants from the partition era) and other native groups (eg. Sindhis, Pashtuns, Punjabis 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 Mohajir 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 central Asian countries. It accounts for 68% of the GDP of Pakistan and a large proportion of the country's white collar workers .

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 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 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 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. Highest recorded is 47.8 °C (118.0 °F) and lowest is 5.0 °C (41.0 °F).

Karachi has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. The downtown district of Saddar contains 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 Sindh Club (1883) .

Classical style made a comeback in the late nineteenth century as seen in Lady Dufferin Hospital (1898) and the Cantonment Railway station. While 'Italianate' buildings remained poplar, an eclectic blend termed Indo-Saracenic or Anglo-Mughal also began to emerge in some locations.

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 PSO Headquarter building and the FTC Building. The city has numerous examples of modern Islamic architecture, including the Aga Khan University hospital, Tooba Mosque, 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.

I. I. Chundrigar Road displays a wide range of supertall buildings. The most prominent examples include the Habib Bank Plaza, PRC Towers and the MCB Tower which is the tallest skyscraper in Pakistan .

Perhaps one of the most spectacular buildings of modern times, Port Tower Complex, a supertall skyscraper is proposed in the Clifton 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 .

Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan; it accounts for a lion's share of Pakistan's revenue generation. It generates 72% of the total national revenue (federal and provincial taxes, customs and surcharges), although a larger part than this amount is accounted for as indirect tax contribution. Karachi produces about 60 percent of value added in large scale manufacturing and 55% of the GDP of Pakistan. 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. Despite this severe shock, Karachi claims the highest per capita income in South Asia, with a GDP per capita greater than $8,000 today.

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..

Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi including world popular Business Plus, GEO TV, KTN, Sindh TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV One, ARY Digital, Indus Television 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%.

The Karachi Expo Centre 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, 1,947 feet (593 m) 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.

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 between 12 and 18 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 communities of Sindhis, Balochs, Pashtuns,Parsis, Hindus, Christian, Jews, Goans, Armenians, Lebanese and Gujaratis. After independence of Pakistan, a large number of Sindhi Hindus and Sindhi Sikhs left the city for India 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 language. Currently, Karachi has a cosmopolitan mix of many ethno-linguistic groups from all over Pakistan and refugees from neighboring countries .

After Pakistan's civil war in 1971, thousands of Biharis from Bangladesh arrived in the city. 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 Iran, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Burma have also settled permanently in the city. With 3.5 million ethnic Pashtuns, Karachi hosts one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world.

Other languages mainly include Gujarati and Memoni with other minor languages like Dari, Brahui, Makrani, Hindko, Khowar, Burushaski, Arabic, Persian and Bengali.

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.

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. Mustafa Kamal is advancing the development trail 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 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 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 Museum that regularly has exhibitions as well as the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centre hosts many regional and international exhibitions.

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. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.

Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi including world popular Business Plus, GEO TV, CNBC Pakistan, TV One, AAJ TV, ARY Digital, Indus Television Network and Dawn News as well as several local stations. Local channels includes Metro One.

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.

Pakistan has both public and private educational institutions from primary to university level. Most educational institutions are gender based from primary to university level.

The most famous and prestigious school in Pakistan, Karachi Grammar School is located at Karachi. It is the oldest school in Pakistan and has educated many Pakistani businessman and politicians.

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%, Highest in Pakistan with a GER of 111%. The other well know schools are Little Folks Secondry School, Habib Public school etc.

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 is the oldest business school outside North America, Alumni of IBA include former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) a part of NUST (National University of Sciences and Technology), offering a wide range of engineering programs including Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Pakistan (Pakistan Engineering Council ranking), is also located in Karachi. Karachi is also home of Head Office of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, which is the most prestigious institute of 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 University and Dow University of Health Sciences have their campuses 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: ملهه). 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 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 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 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 traveling 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.

Though map of Karachi city are available at the bookstores all across the city but it is next to impossible to get a street map of Karachi ( Most of the streets in are not named properly). Some local enthusiasts have started the initiative of bringing Karachi to the digital mapping world. Openstreetmap (OSM) partial street mapping done, Naqsha.net and PK Maps have done a good job in making street maps with the help of GPS. NAQSHA and PK Maps can be used in Garmin GPS devices.

As one of the most rapidly growing cities in the world, Karachi faces challenges that are central to many developing metropolises including 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 in 2007, down from 170 in 2006.. However, one should remember that the criteria for such rankings can be narrow as is the case for Business Week's ranking which ranked cities based on CEO's lifestyle. Being ranked as relatively unlivable also makes Karachi the 2nd cheapest city in the world, which is good for tourism according to The Times newspaper(UK).

The traffic 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. In addition, new bridges are being built to ease the congestion as well as plans for constructing a sewerage treatment plant is underway.

In April 2008, the City District Government built a Control Unit(CU) which accommodates the worlds largest data center. With the help of this unit, every road in Karachi is monitored through a high resolution camera, which captures the number plate and the face of driver within a second and sends it to the CU. These cameras are fixed 100 ft above the ground. An additional security camera is also placed above the camera to ensure security. These security cameras are 300 ft above the ground.

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 1 September 2007 after being inaugurated only months before by former President Pervez Musharraf.

Millenium Mall, former Drive-in Cinema.

Fishing boats at the Port of Karachi.

CNBC Pakistan's H.Q. at Techno City.

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Economy of Karachi

View of the I.I.Chundrigar Road skyline, heart of the financial district of Karachi

Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Pakistan; it accounts for a lion's share of Pakistan's revenue generation. It generates over 68% of the total national revenue from indirect sources (federal and provincial taxes, customs and surcharges), Although a larger part than 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.

Karachi's GDP is more than a quarter of Pakistan's total Gross Domestic Product. It is calculated at $126 billion (purchasing power parity). Giving a GDP per capita of more than $10000, which is nearly four times that of Pakistan's. Karachi's high GDP is based on its mega industrial base, with a high dependency also on Financial sector. Textile, Cement, Steel, Heavy machinery, chemicals, food, Banking, Insurance are the major segments contributing to Karachi's GDP.

I I Chundrigar Road (formerly McLeod Road) was once the main business district of Karachi, but in recent years many businesses have moved to other areas such as Sharah-e-Faisal, MT Khan road, Mai Kolachi, Clifton and Defence. The traffic congestion in I.I. Chundrigar Road has made it difficult to travel to the center of the city in a timely manner.

Sharah-e-Faisal has seen a spate of building with high rises, show rooms and institutions. Its proximity to Karachi Airport has been a significant factor.

The recent trend of ICT (information and communications technology), electronic media and call centers has become a significant part of Karachi business hierarchy. 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 per cent in order to gain foreign investments in the IT sector.

The city has also firmly established itself as the electronic media capital of the country as most Pakistan's Media Television Channels are headquartered here including CNBC Pakistan, Dawn News, TV One, Indus Television Network, ARY Digital, AAJ TV, KTN NEWS,KTN,KASHISH TV and GEO TV. They generate huge revenues for the city in advertising and provide jobs and entertainment. As a sign of the growing strength of the electronic media sector GEO TV is planning to start a further 10 channels and for this purpose is setting up a 50-acre (200,000 m2) studio in the city.

Karachi Stock Exchange is Pakistan's largest and oldest stock exchange, with many Pakistani as well as overseas listings. It has been declared as the “Best Performing Stock Market of the World for the year 2002”.

KSE has been well into the 4th year of being one of the Best Performing Markets of the world as declared by the international magazine “Business Week”. Similarly the US newspaper, USA Today, termed Karachi Stock Exchange as one of the best performing bourses in the world.

Karachi also has a huge industrial base. There are large industrial estates on most of the fringes of the main city. The main industries are Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, Steel, and Automobiles. Apart from these, there are many cottage industries in the city as well. Karachi is also known as software outsourcing hub of Pakistan. It also has a rapidly flourishing 'Free Zone' with an annual growth rate of nearly 6.5 per cent. An expo center has also been set up in Karachi and is now available to host many regional and International exhibitions.

Dozens of new manufacturing units are also being built near the Pakistan Steel Mill. Farm businesses line the SuperHighway route. SITE Manghopir is the biggest industrial area of Pakistan with more than 4000 factories. New Industrial zones have come in the past like Landhi, Korangi, FB Area, North Karachi and Port Qasim.

Karachi is also home of major automobile manufacturing companies. Toyota is in the process of increasing production capacity to over 120,000 units per annum. Suzuki Motor Company is also located in Karachi. The manufacturing plant located in Bin Qasim has a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year. Among others, Millat Tractors, Adam Motor Company, Daihatsu, HinoPak Buses and Trucks manufacturing plants are also located in Karachi.

The banking and insurance sector in Karachi has reaped the benefits of industrialization. One may see new branches of local and international banks all over Karachi. From bank to credit cards, paper money is becoming the order of the day in this city. Car loans from numerous banks have allowed the younger generation to go for the hot cars.

Despite the growth and development of transport infrastructure elsewhere in the country Karachi remains the country's transport hub. Currently the city's two ports, Port of Karachi which is Pakistan's largest and Port Qasim, are central to nearly all shipping in Pakistan. The airport of Karachi, Jinnah International Airport, also known as Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, is the largest & busiest airport in Pakistan and handles 6 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 South East Asia. All of Pakistan's airlines use Karachi as their Primary hub including Pakistan International Airlines, Aero Asia International, Airblue and Shaheen Air.

Karachi is the biggest fisheries hub in Pakistan. Fishery plays an important role in the Karachi's economy. It provides employment to about 300,000 fishermen directly. In addition, another 400,000 people are employed in ancillary industries. It is also a major source of export earning. The Karachi Fish Harbour and Korangi Fish Harbour are two major fish harbours in Karachi.

Karachi is the center of all business activities. Thousands of vehicles roll on the roads of Karachi. The City Administration is trying to introduce CNG buses and rickshaws in the city in the coming years.

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Karachi Stock Exchange

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The Karachi Stock Exchange or KSE is a stock exchange located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Founded in 1947, it is Pakistan's largest and oldest stock exchange, with many Pakistani as well as overseas listings. Its current premises are situated on Stock Exchange Road, in the heart of Karachi's Business District.

Karachi Stock Exchange is the biggest and most liquid exchange in Pakistan. It was declared the “Best Performing Stock Market of the World for the year 2002”. As on May 30, 2008, 654 companies were listed with a market capitalization of Rs. 3,746.203 billion (US$ 56.334 billion) having listed capital of Rs. 705.873 billion (US$ 10.615 billion). The KSE 100TM Index closed at 12130.51 on May 30, 2008.

The exchange has pre-market sessions from 09:15am to 09:30am and normal trading sessions from 09:30am to 03:30pm. It is the second oldest stock exchange in South Asia. The karachi stock exchange has undergone a considerable deal of downturn partly due to global financial crisis and partly on account of domestic troubles. It remained suspended in excess of 4 months and resumed normal trading only on December 15,2008. The KSE 100 Index and KSE 30 Index after hitting the low around mid january has now rebounced and recovered 20-25% till March 12th 2009.

The KSE is the biggest and most liquid exchange in Pakistan and in 2002 it was declared as the “Best Performing Stock Market of the World” by Business Week. As of December 20, 2007, 671 companies were listed with the market capitalization of Rs. 4364.312 billion (US$ 73 Billion) having listed capital of Rs. 717.3 billion (US$ 12 billion). On December 26, 2007, the KSE 100 Index reached its ever highest value and closed at 14,814.85 points.

Foreign buying interest had been very active on the KSE in 2006 and continued in 2007. According to estimates from the State Bank of Pakistan, foreign investment in capital markets total about US$523 Million. According to a research analyst in Pakistan, around 20pc of the total free float in KSE-30 Index is held by foreign participants.

KSE has seen some fluctuations since the start of 2008. One reason could be that it is the election year in Pakistan, and stocks are expected to remain dull. KSE has set an all time high of 15,000 points, before settling around the 14,000 mark.

Karachi stock exchange Board of Directors has recently (2007) announced plans to construct a 40 story high rise KSE building, as a new direction for future investment.

Disputes between investors and members of the Exchange are resolved through deliberations of the Arbitration Committee of the Exchange.

KSE began with a 50 shares index. As the market grew a representative index was needed. On November 1st, 91 the KSE-100 was introduced and remains to this day the most generally accepted measure of the Exchange. Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE-100 Index) is a benchmark used to compare prices overtime, companies with the highest market capitalization are selected. To ensure full market representation, the company with the highest market capitalization from each sector is also included.

In 1995 the need was felt for an all share index to reconfirm the KSE-100 and also to provide the basis of index trading in future. On August the 29th, 1995 the KSE all share index was constructed and introduced on September 18, 1995.

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Source : Wikipedia