KarachiKarachi ( Karācī (help·info), Urdu: کراچی; Sindhi: ڪراچي) is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. With an estimated population of 13 million to 15 million, it is the most populous city in the country, one of the world's largest cities in terms of population and the 10th largest urban agglomeration. It is Pakistan's premier centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a major hub of higher education in South Asia and the wider Muslim world..
Karachi is ranked as a Beta world city. It was the original capital of Pakistan until the construction of Islamabad and is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region's largest and busiest ports. After the independence of Pakistan, the city population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of Urdu-speaking migrants or Muhajirs from India and other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi.
The city is located in the south of the country, along the coastline meeting the Arabian Sea; it is spread over 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi) in area, almost four times bigger than Hong Kong. It is locally known as the "City of Lights" (روشنیوں کا شہر) and "The bride of the cities" (عروس البلاد) for its liveliness, and the "City of the Quaid" (شہرِ قائد), having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam (Muhammad Ali Jinnah), the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independence from the British Raj on 14 August 1947.
Early historyThe 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 whence Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in 712 AD
Karachi was founded as "Kolachi" by Sindhi and Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area. Descendants of the original community still live in the area on the small island of Abdullah Goth, which is located near the Karachi Port. The original name "Kolachi" survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named "Mai Kolachi" in Sindhi. Mirza Ghazi Beg, the Mughal administrator of Sindh, is among the first historical figures credited for the development of Coastal Sindh (consisting of regions such as the Makran Coast and the Mehran Delta), including the cities of Thatta, Bhambore and Karachi.
During the rule of the Mughal administrator of Sindh, Mirza Ghazi Beg the city was well fortified against Portuguese colonial incursions in Sindh. During the reign of the Kalhora Dynasty the present city started life as a fishing settlement when a Sindhi Balochi fisher-woman called Mai Kolachi took up residence and started a family. The city was an integral part of the Talpur dynasty in 1720.
The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1720s, the village was trading across the Arabian Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. The local Sindhi populace built a small fort was constructed for the protection of the city, armed with cannons imported by Sindhi sailors from Muscat, Oman. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) (Kharadar) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar). The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khārā Dar) and Mithadar (Mīṭhā Dar).
EducationIn 2008-09, the city's literacy rate was estimated at 77%, the 4th highest in the country, after Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Jhelum with a gross enrollment ratio of 111%, the highest in Sindh.
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. Karachi has both public and private educational institutions. Most educational institutions are gender-based, from primary to university level.
Karachi Grammar School is the oldest school in Pakistan and has educated many Pakistani businessmen and politicians. The Narayan Jagannath High School in Karachi, which opened in 1855, was the first government school established in Sindh. Other well-known schools include the Hamdard Public School, Education Bay [EBay] school located in karachi (for higher education) Army Public School (C.O.D.), White House Grammar School, CAA Model School, Beacon Askari School & College, British Overseas School, L'ecole for Advanced Studies, Generation's school, the CAS School, Bay View, Karachi American School, Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, the Froebel Education Centre (FEC), The Paradise School and College, Little Folks Secondary School, Habib Public School, Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School, B. V. S. Parsi High School, Civilizations Public School, The Oasys School, Avicenna School, The Lyceum School, Ladybird Grammar School, The City School, ABC Public School, Beaconhouse School System, The Educators schools,Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan School ,Shahwilayat Public School, St Patrick's High School, St Paul's English High School, St Joseph's Convent School, St Jude's High School, St Michael's Convent School, Foundation Public School, and St Peter's High School.
University of Karachi, known as KU, is Pakistan's largest university, with a student population of 24,000 and one of the largest faculties in the world. It is located next to the NED University of Engineering and Technology, the country's oldest engineering institute. In the private sector, The National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES-FAST), one of Pakistan's top universities in computer education, operates two campuses in Karachi. Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) provides reputable training in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electronics engineering, telecom engineering and computer engineering. Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, which opened in 1962, offers degree programmes in electronic engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering and architecture. Karachi Institute of Economics & Technology (KIET) has two campuses in Karachi and has been growing rapidly since its inception in 1997. The Plastics Technology Center (PTC), located in Karachi's Korangi Industrial Area, is at present Pakistan's only educational institution providing training in the field of polymer engineering and plastics testing services. The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), founded in 1955, is the oldest business school outside of North America. The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), founded in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto, is located in Karachi, with its other campuses in Islamabad, Larkana and Dubai. Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) is a part of the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), offering a wide range of engineering programs, including electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Hamdard University is the largest private university in Pakistan with faculties including Eastern Medicine, Medical, Engineering, Pharmacy, and Law. It has got Asia's second largest library called 'BAIT UL HIKMA'. Jinnah University for Women is the first women university in Pakistan. Karachi is home of the head offices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) (established in 1961) and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP). Among the many other institutions providing business education are the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), SZABIST, Iqra University and the Institute of Business and Technology (Biztek). Leading medical schools of Pakistan like the Dow University of Health Sciences and the Aga Khan University are situated in Karachi. PLANWEL is another innovative institution it is a CISCO Network Academy as well as iCBT center for ETS Prometric and Pearsons VUE. Bahria University also has a purpose-built campus in Karachi. The College of Accounting and Management Sciences (CAMS) also has three branches in the city.Sindh Muslim Govt. Science College located at Saddar Town is the oldest college of Karachi.
For religious education, the Jamia Uloom ul Islamia (one of the largest Islamic education centres of Asia), Jamia Binoria and Darul 'Uloom Karachi are among the Islamic schools in Karachi.