Archdiocese of Karachi
  • share this post
  • resize textlarger | smaller

Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistan. Locally known as"the city of lights", it was the original capital of Pakistan until the construction of Islamabad.

Language

The most commonly spoken language in Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city is Urdu, the national language. Other national languages spoken in Karachi are Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto and Balochi are widely spoken in the city. However migrant languages such as Bengali and Dari are widely spoken by a high number of residents.

History

It is believed that St. Thomas passed through this territory on his way to South India. The province was originally an ecclesiastical district of Bombay archdiocese.

Augustinian Missionaries started the mission at the beginning of XVII century. They were replaced by Discalded Carmelites who remained till 1672. After the British conquest in 1842-1843, the Carmelites returned as chaplains to the troops. The advent of people from Goa of pre-partition India in Karachi had begun when the British eyed Karachi as a future city of trade, commerce, leisure and strategy. The Capuchin father took charge in 1852 and then the Jesuits took over from 1856 to 1935.

It was separated from Bombay archdiocese on June 1, 1934 and made into a "Missio Independens" and was entrusted to the Franciscan Fathers of the Dutch province. On May 28, 1948, it was erected into a diocese and two years later, on July 15 1950, it became an archdiocese.

The Anglo-Indian Christians have been living and working here, a sleepy fishing village-turned-megacity, since that time. They decided to stay back in a caste-free Pakistan after 1947 partition. They thought since they were mostly involved in education and health and serving mostly Muslims, they would be spared the wrath of extremists.

Transportation

Karachi is a major transport hub of Pakistan. The Karachi port and airport are major gateways in Pakistan. The Jinnah International airport of Karachi is the largest and busiest airport of the country. Minibuses, coaches and large buses (all with a separate compartment for women) typically provide the cheapest way to commute across the city. Rickshaws, chinchis and taxis cater to the travelling needs of upper middle class, while radio cabs or white cabs are frequently used by upper class travellers.

Climate

Karachi is located on the coast and as a result has a relatively mild climate. The level of precipitation is low for most of the year. However, due to the city's proximity to the sea, humidity levels usually remain high throughout the year. The city enjoys mild winters and very warm summers. Karachi also receives the tail end of the monsoon rains. July and November are the best time to visit Karachi.

Economy

Pakistan's richest city accounts for nearly 45 per cent of Pakistan's GDP. It translates into roughly 15 billion rupees (USD175,932,437 as of June 2010) per day and tax revenues of one billion rupees per day. The city is a national headquarters for industry and the service sector, a bustling port city on the Arabian sea.

Topography

Karachi may be broadly divided into two parts; the hilly areas in the North and West and an undulating plain and coastal area in the South-East. The hills in Karachi are the off-shoots of the Kirthar Range. All these hills are devoid of vegetation and have wide intervening plains, dry river beds and water channels.

Karachi has a long coastline and famous sea beaches in the South. It has calm water channels for rowing and other water activities. Away from the shoreline are some small islands.

Education

In 2008-09, the city's literacy rate was estimated at 65.26%, the highest in Pakistan, with a gross enrolment ratio of 111%, the highest in Sindh province.

St. Patrick's High School, founded by a Jesuit priest in 1861, is one of the best schools in the country and has produced well known leaders and personalities including two Cardinals, two Prime Ministers of Pakistan, two Chief Ministers of Sindh, (the leader of the BJP party in India is also an alumni), mayors of Karachi, great sportsmen and well known educationists and former president Pervaiz Musharaf. President Asif Zardari also attended this school.