Karachi ( Karācī, Sindhi: ڪراچي, Urdu: كراچى) is the largest city, main seaport and financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 21 million people as of April 2012. At a density of nearly 6,000 people per square kilometre (15,500 per square mile) Karachi is the most populous city in the country, the world's largest city in terms of population and also the 11th largest urban agglomeration in the world. It is Pakistan's 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 hub of higher education in South Asia and the Muslim world.
Karachi is ranked as a Beta world city. It was the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a capital in order to spread development evenly across the country and to prevent it from being concentrated in Karachi. Karachi 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 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. It is locally known as the "City of Lights" (بتين جو شهر) 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, the Great Leader, (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.
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