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Karachi History, Pakistan

The former capital, and largest city of Pakistan, Karachi is found on the Arabian Sea, near the Indus River delta. It is the chief seaport for Pakistan, an industrial center and a unique city in various ways.

At independence, the city had a population of 500,000 but has today way exceeded the 10 million mark. The city has an area of about 3,366 sq. km with about 18 towns and 6 cantonment boards. Though the city is located on a semi-arid zone, its closeness to water offers it a moderate climate.

This city was once a fishing village

Not much is known about the history of Karachi till the occupation of Talpurs in the eighteenth century. This was when Karachi was a fishing village with more of Kulachis, a dominant tribe of fishermen.

It was in 1797 that Fateh Ali Talpur had built a fort in Manora while the British had built a factory on Lyari River banks in 1799. However, with the Mir growing suspicious of the British, they were expelled from the city the following year with the closing down of the factory. British then took over Karachi in 1839, before Sindh annexation.

The shifting of the capital

With this annexation in 1843, Napier had shifted the capital from Hyderabad to Karachi. This was when cantonments were established by the British outside town limits. Napier had by then established water supply to the city and a basic police and judicial level.

 Throughout the nineteenth century, the population of the city started growing steadily and by the start of the twentieth century, 55% of them were Muslims and 41%, Hindus. As Karachi is a city with a natural harbor, lots of space and fair weather, it always had the potential to grow into a great metropolis.

Importance of Second World War to Karachi

This is why Alexandra, who had stayed here for 27 days about two thousand years ago, had called the city ‘the bridge between east and west’ because of the potential of the city.

This is how the Muslim general Muhammad Bin Qasim had entered Pakistan to bring about Islam religion here. It was towards the end of the eighteenth century that the deep sea port, Gawadar was developed near Karachi.

It was during the Second World War that Karachi gained importance as the air gateway to the subcontinent. However, it remained a quiet town with an efficient municipality where the population was stable until independence where its face completely changed.

This is when everyone wanted to go to Karachi to be in the capital and urban area of Pakistan. Today, Karachi has grown beyond one’s expectations.

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