Karachi: Where Pakistan’s Tenacity Is on Full Display

Tyler Cowen at Bloomberg:

Karachi feels like a city without a clearly defined past, or at least not one that has carried over into the present. In the 1950s it was known as the “Paris of the East,” but that impression has not aged well. In 1941, before partition, the city’s population was about 51% Hindu. Now it is virtually 0% Hindu, obliterating yet another feature of the city’s history. It is currently a mix of Pakistani ethnicities, including Sindhis (the home province), Punjabis, Pashtuns, the Baloch and many more — indeed, Pakistan in miniature.

In addition to the benefits of urbanization, the generally peaceful nature of the city made a big impression on me. I was told by many people that Karachi was a kind of war zone, and that was to some extent true in the 1990s. The city was overwhelmed by money from trade in drugs and armaments, and the rapid arrival of so many newcomers.

But remarkable progress has been made in the last half decade or so, a testament to the city’s dynamism and ingenuity.

More here.