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(kərä`chē), city (1998 pop. 9,269,265), largest city and former capital of Pakistan, SE Pakistan, on the Arabian Sea near the Indus River delta. The capital of Sind prov., it is Pakistan's chief seaport and industrial center, a transportation, commercial, and financial hub, and a military headquarters. It has a large automobile assembly plant, an oil refinery, a steel mill, shipbuilding, railroad yards, jute and textile factories, printing and publishing plants, media and entertainment industries, food processing plants, and chemical and engineering works. Karachi airport is one of the busiest in Asia. Karachi has a university and other educational institutions; the national museum, with a fine archaeological collection; and the tomb of Muhammad Ali JinnahJinnah, Muhammad Ali
, 1876–1948, founder of Pakistan, b. Karachi. After his admission to the bar in England, he returned to India to practice law. Early in his career he was a fervent supporter of the Indian National Congress and an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity.
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, founder of Pakistan.

An old settlement, Karachi was developed as a port and trading center by Hindu merchants in the early 18th cent. In 1843 it passed to the British, who made it the seat of the Sind government. Steady improvements in harbor facilities made Karachi a leading Indian port by the late 19th cent., while agricultural development of the hinterland gave it a large export trade. Karachi served as Pakistan's capital from 1947, when the country gained independence, until 1959, when RawalpindiRawalpindi
, city (1998 pop. 1,406,214), NE Pakistan. It occupies the site of an old village inhabited by the Rawals, a tribe of Yogis. A railroad junction and an important industrial and commercial center, the city has an oil refinery, gasworks, an iron foundry, railroad yards,
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 became the interim capital pending completion of IslamabadIslamabad
, city (1998 pop. 524,500), capital of Pakistan, NE Pakistan, just NE of Rawalpindi, the former interim capital. Construction of Islamabad [city of Islam] as the capital, replacing Karachi, began in 1960. There are light manufacturing industries.
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. The political base of the Bhutto family (see Bhutto, Zulfikar AliBhutto, Zulfikar Ali
, 1928–79, Pakistani political leader. Member of a wealthy landowning family, he entered politics as the protégé of General Ayub Khan. Bhutto joined the cabinet in 1958, becoming foreign minister in 1963.
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 and Bhutto, BenazirBhutto, Benazir
, 1953–2007, prime minister of Pakistan (1988–90; 1993–96), daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Educated at Radcliffe and Oxford, she returned to Pakistan shortly before her father was overthrown by General Zia ul-Haq in 1977.
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), Karachi has been troubled since the 1980s by violence between local Sindhis and the descendants of muhajirs, the Muslim immigrants who fled to Pakistan following partition in 1947. The lawlessness in the city was further aggravated by Sunni-Shiite fighting beginning in the 1990s and by ethnic tensions involving migrant Pashtuns in the 21st cent. Government efforts beginning in the late 1990s to suppress the violence have been only sporadically successful; a paramilitary campaign in 2015 decreased the violence, but it was accused of human rights abuses.



a city in Pakistan. Located in the delta of the Indus River, 100 km north of where the river flows into the Arabian Sea.

Karachi is the administrative center of Sind Province. The transformation of Karachi into the main political and economic center of the country after the formation of Pakistan (1947) led to the rapid growth of the population, mainly because of the influx of immigrants. From 1947 to 1955, the population increased from 350, 000 to 1.5 million; in 1971, the population of Karachi, including the suburbs, reached 4.2 million. Karachi is the largest city of the country. It is a transport junction of international significance: it has a large airport and its seaport is accessible to oceangoing vessels (yearly freight turnover exceeds 9 million tons). The great part of Pakistan’s foreign trade is carried out through this seaport.

Approximately one-half of the industrial production of Pakistan is concentrated in Karachi and its suburbs: cotton, food (sugar), tobacco, leather, paper, cement, glass, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries; metalworking and machine-building enterprises (including motor-vehicle assembly factories, railroad workshops, and shipyards); electrotechnical plants; and petroleum refineries. A large metallurgical plant is being constructed near Karachi with the help of the USSR. There are salt evaporation ponds on the seacoast near Karachi. The boards of central banks and insurance and commercial corporations, as well as the stock exchange, are located in Karachi. Many educational institutions, including a university, research institutes, and the National Museum of Pakistan are also there.


The city of Karachi was founded in the 18th century on the site of a Baluchi fishermen’s settlement. In 1843, Karachi was captured by the British colonialists and became the administrative center of Sind Province. In the second half of the 19th century Karachi became a British naval base. From 1947 to 1959, Karachi was the capital of Pakistan.

The business center of Karachi, located on the main streets Bunder Road and McLeod Road, has buildings dating mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Supreme Court (early 20th century, neoclassical style), the Intercontinental Hotel (1962, architects W. B. Tabler and Z. Pathan), and the State Bank (designed in 1954, constructed in 1961). Northwest from Bunder Road up to the Lyari River is the Old City, with narrow streets and one- or two-story houses. Beyond the Lyari is the Sind industrial region. The city has a university (founded in 1951, architect M. Ecoshard) and an art center (I960).


Pithawalli, M. B. An Introduction to Karachi. Karachi, 1950.



a pelotherapy health resort in Novosibirsk Oblast, RSFSR. Located in the northern part of the Barabinsk Lowland, 394 km from Novosibirsk. The summers are warm (the average temperature in July is 19°C), and winters are cold (the average temperature in January is −19°C). Annual precipitation is 270 mm. The therapeutic agents include mud with a high content of hydrogen sulfide and chloride-sulfate sodium-magnesium saline water from Lake Karachi. The mineral water has the formula

and is used for drinking as part of the treatment. Persons suffering from gynecological diseases and illnesses affecting the supportive and locomotor system, the peripheral nervous system, and the digestive organs are treated. Karachi has a sanatorium, a polyclinic, and a bathhouse with mineral and mud baths.


a port in S Pakistan, on the Arabian Sea: capital of Pakistan (1947--60); university (1950); chief port: commercial and industrial centre. Pop.: 11 819 000 (2005 est.)
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