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Karachi (/kəˈrɑːi/; Urdu: کراچی; Sindhi: ڪراچي; IPA: [kəˈraːtʃi] (Loudspeaker.svglisten)) is the largest city in Pakistan and 12th largest in the world, with a population of over 20 million.[17][18][19] It is situated at the southern tip of the country along the Arabian Sea coast. It is the former capital of Pakistan and capital of the province of Sindh. Ranked as a beta-global city,[20][21] it is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre,[22] with an estimated GDP of over $200 billion (PPP) as of 2021.[15][16] Karachi is Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city, linguistically, ethnically, and religiously diverse,[23] as well as one of Pakistan's most socially liberal cities.[24][25][26]

Quick facts: Karachi .mw-parser-output .nobold{font-we...
Clockwise from top: Mazar-e-Quaid; Hawke's Bay Beach; Frere Hall; Karachi Port Trust Building; Mohatta Palace; and Port of Karachi
City of the Quaid,[1] Paris of the East,[2][3] City of Lights,[2] Bride of the Cities[4][5]
Karachi is located in Karachi
Map of the city of Karachi
Karachi is located in Sindh
Location within Sindh province
Karachi is located in Pakistan
Location within Pakistan
Karachi is located in Asia
Location within Asia
Coordinates: 24°51′36″N 67°0′36″E
CountryFlag_of_Pakistan.svg Pakistan
ProvinceFlag_of_Sindh.svg Sindh
DivisionKarachi Division
Metropolitan council1880; 143 years ago (1880)
City councilCity Complex, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town
  TypeMetropolitan Corporation
  BodyGovernment of Karachi
  MayorNone (vacant)
  Deputy mayorNone (vacant)
  CommissionerIqbal Memon[8]
3,530 km2 (1,360 sq mi)
Elevation10 m (30 ft)
  Rank1st (Pakistan); 12th (world)
Time zoneUTC+05:00 (PKT)
Postal codes
74XXX  75XXX
Dialling code021[14]
GDP/PPP$200 billion (2021)[15][16]
International airportJinnah International (KHI)
Rapid transit systemKarachi Breeze
Largest district by areaMalir
Largest area by population (2020)Orangi Town (2,750,000)
Largest area by GDP (2020)Saddar Town ($40 billion)

The region has been inhabited for millennia,[27] but the city was formally founded as the fortified village of Kolachi as recently as 1729.[28][29] The settlement greatly increased in importance on arrival of the East India Company in the mid-19th century. British administrators embarked on substantial projects to transform the city into a major seaport, and connect it with the extensive railway network of the Indian subcontinent.[29] At the time of Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the city was the largest in Sindh with an estimated population of 400,000 people.[23] Afterwards, city experienced a dramatic shift in population and demography with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Muhajir (Urdu-speaking people) Muslim refugees from India,[30] coupled with a substantial exodus of its Hindu residents, who had constituted a slight majority in the city before Partition.[31] The city experienced rapid economic growth following Pakistan's independence, attracting migrants from throughout the country and other regions in South Asia.[32] According to the 2017 Census of Pakistan, Karachi's total population was 16,051,521, with 14.9 million of those people residing in the urban areas of the city. Karachi is one of the world's fastest-growing cities,[33] and has significant communities representing almost every ethnic group in Pakistan. Karachi holds more than two million Bengali immigrants, a million Afghan refugees, and up to 400,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar.[34][35][36]

Karachi is now Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre. The city has a formal economy estimated to be worth $190 billion as of 2021, which is the largest in the country.[37][38] Karachi collects 35% of Pakistan's tax revenue,[39] and generates approximately 25% of Pakistan's entire GDP.[40][41] Approximately 30% of Pakistani industrial output is from Karachi,[42] while Karachi's ports handle approximately 95% of Pakistan's foreign trade.[43] Approximately 90% of the multinational corporations and 100% of banks operating in Pakistan are headquartered in Karachi.[43] It also serves as a transport hub, and contains Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Qasim, as well as Pakistan's busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.[44] Karachi is also considered to be Pakistan's fashion capital,[45][46] and has hosted the annual Karachi Fashion Week since 2009.[47][48]

Known as the "City of Lights" in the 1960s and 1970s for its vibrant nightlife,[49] Karachi was beset by sharp ethnic, sectarian, and political conflict in the 1980s with the large-scale arrival of weaponry during the Soviet–Afghan War.[50] The city had become well known for its high rates of violent crime, but recorded crimes sharply decreased following a crackdown operation against criminals, the MQM political party, and Islamist militants, initiated in 2013 by the Pakistan Rangers.[51] As a result of the operation, Karachi dropped from being ranked the world's 6th-most dangerous city for crime in 2014, to 128th by 2022.[52]