History in KarachiEdit This
The ancient Greeks referred to the area around Karachi as "Krokola," which was the site where Alexander the Great once set up camp after his Indus Valley military campaign. In the 8th century, the Arabs called the area "Debal" port, and Muhammad bin Qasim launched his invasion of the southern part of Asia from there.
The present location of Karachi was first inhabited by a Sindhi woman called Mai Kolachi, who set up her home there with her family. Later on, she was joined by other settlers, and the settlement grew into a village, which was named Kolachi-jo-Goth. The village became an important trading post in the late 18th century as merchants from Muscat and other parts of the Persian Gulf started arriving. The Talpurs took control of the village in 1795 and established a mud fort there.
British Colonial Rule
Kolachi continued to be a small village for several decades, but it would see great improvements after the British took over the village in 1839. Charles Napier led his British troops to conquer the entire Sindh province, and he decided to move the province capital to Kolachi. Under the governorship of Napier, Kolachi was renamed Khurachee Scinde, or Karachi Sindh, and the population grew to about 50,000 by 1847. Also, the city started to undergo massive development projects, with the construction of streets, highways, railroads, port facilities and European-styled structures.
Around the latter part of the 19th century, the city of Karachi had a population of around 105,000 people, which were made up of Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Europeans, Iranians, Lebanese and others. In 1900, the city became so congested that it had to build a tramway system, which was the first in India. By the year 1914, Karachi became the British Empire’s most important grain exporting port, and a decade later, the city had its first aerodrome, which became the main port of entry by air into India.
In 1936, the province of Sindh was no longer under the rule of the Bombay Presidency, and Karachi was named the capital of the province. In 1947, a new country called Pakistan was formed, and Karachi became the capital city. In the following years, the population increased rapidly because of a great influx of refugees and immigrants from other countries. Despite the rise in population, the city managed to maintain its cultural diversity, and it continued to experience tremendous economic and cultural growth. Karachi was the capital of Pakistan until 1959, when Islamabad was named the new capital city.