Karachi | Gulf Air
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Gulf Air  > Plan and Book  > Destination Guides  > Karachi


Destination guides
After the founding of the new Muslim State of Pakistan out of northwest India in 1947, Karachi was the national capital until 1959, when Rawalpindi was designated the provisional capital pending the development of Islamabad, which became the national capital in 1967. It is strategically well placed on the south coast, the country's largest city and busiest port, and is the capital of Sind province.

The hub of a sprawling metropolitan area, Karachi is also the nation's chief financial, commercial, and manufacturing center. Most of the international trade of Pakistan and Afghanistan passes through the city's busy modern port, centered on the island of Kiamari. Major highways and railroads focus on the city, and the modern airport here is a stopover and refueling point for intercontinental flights. Among the many products of Karachi are steel, textiles, chemicals, refined petroleum, footwear, machinery, handicrafts, and processed food. The city is an important banking center and has a stock exchange. The University of Karachi (1951) and NED University of Engineering and Technology (1922) are here. The tomb of, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, is a landmark.

An old settlement, Karachi was a small fishing and trade center when captured by the British in 1839 and annexed three years later. It proved an attractive port, giving access to the important River Indus valley but far enough from the delta to avoid silting up. Under British rule, it became the chief outlet for Indus Valley cotton and grain exports. During the early years of independence Karachi grew rapidly as the industrial center of West Pakistan, and many Muslim refugees from India settled here. The population is now approaching 10 million. Visitors should check the security situation with their embassies.

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Fact File
 City: Karachi 
 Country Name: Pakistan 
 Currency: Pakistani rupee 
 Local Time: GMT +6 
 Main Language: Urdu 
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