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Published by: KO on Sep 04, 2007
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1951 – 1961
: During this period, there was a sharpfall in infant mortality rates. This was because of theeradication of malaria, smallpox and cholera through theuse of pesticides, immunisation and drugs. Urban popu-lations started to increase due to the push factor createdby the introduction of Green Revolution technologies inagricultural production.
1961 – 1972
: An increase in urbanisation and overalldemographic growth continued due to the trendsexplained above. In addition, Pakistan started to indus-trialise during this decade. This created a pull factor which increased rural-urban migration. These trendscontinued during the next decade.
1981 – 1998
: Overall growth rates declined due toincreased literacy and population planning programmespromoted by NGOs and the government. Urban growthalso declined due to the same reason.
1.National Overview
Table A1.1
below gives an overview of demographicand urbanisation trends in Pakistan. The urban popula-tion has increased from 4,015,000 (14.2 per cent of thetotal) in 1941 to 42,458,000 (32.5 per cent of total) in1998. The 1998 figures have been challenged sinceonly those settlements have been considered as urbanwhich have urban local government structures.Population density as a whole has also increased from42.5 people per km
in 1951 to 164 in 1998.Major increases in the urban population occurredduring the following periods:
1941 – 1951
: This increase was due to the migrationfrom India in 1947 when the subcontinent was parti-tioned. In the 1951 Census, REF 48 per cent of theurban population of Pakistan had originated in India.Due to this migration, traditional urban institutions builtaround clan, caste and religion quickly collapsed. Theresult was fierce upward mobility in the migrant popula-tion and a state of social anarchy that has continuedsince then.
The case of 
Karachi, Pakistan
by Arif HasanMasooma Mohib
ContactArif Hasan,Architect and Planning Consultant,37-D, Mohd. Ali Society, Karachi – 75350Tel/Fax. +92.21 452 2361E-mail: ahasan@digicom.net.pk
   S  o  u  r  c  e  :   C   I   A   f  a  c   t   b  o  o   k
sations and informal sector interest groups whose mainfunction was to present their claims and guard their gains. All this has led to the weakening of feudal institu-tions and the emergence of a capitalist economy. It hasalso led to greater openness and transparency in publicaffairs in spite of the repressive nature of the state. Thisperiod also saw the break up of large feudal holdings andthe gradual replacement of crop-sharing by cash trans-actions between peasants and landlords.
1987 – 2002
: Structural adjustment and globalisationand the failure of Pakistan to respond to them positivelyhas resulted in inflation, recession and increasing unem-ployment. It has also resulted in the emergence of a FirstWorld economy with a Third World wage structure. Thishas increased poverty and aspirations as well. It has ledto privatisation and or the removal of subsidies in educa-tion, health and urban services (increasing the rich-poor divide) and an increase in the migration of educatedpeople from Pakistan to the First World.The trends in Pakistan’s economy are summed up in
table A-1.2
.Urban Slums Reports: The case of Karachi, Pakistan
Economic Trends
1947 – 1958
: Pakistan tried to model itself on thepost-World War II social welfare state. However, due toinappropriate political and administrative institutions,absence of civil society organisations, finances and adeeply entrenched feudal system, the state was notable to deliver. The demand-supply gap in housing,health, education and employment continued toincrease as a result.
1958 – 1968
: During this decade, Pakistan was ruledby the military. Industrialisation was promoted aggres-sively along with Green Revolution technologies. As aresult, a cash economy replaced barter in the ruralareas. Middlemen emerged to service the needs of small producers in the agricultural sector and this weak-ened the feudal system. In the urban areas, an informalsector developed to service the demand-supply gap inhousing and physical and social infrastructure.
1968 – 1977
: Nationalisation of industry and healthand education was carried out by the elected govern-ment which replaced military rule. The state investedheavily in industry. The rights of squatters on govern-ment land were recognised and a process of regularisa-tion of informal settlements was introduced.
1977 – 1987
: Another period of military dictatorship,ad-hoc policy making, Islamisation and repression. Thisgave birth to a number of civil society organisations for human rights, women’s movements, community organi-
Table A-1.1. Pakistan: Population Size,Rural-Urban Ratio and Growth Rate, 1901 - 1998 Year Population
(in ‘000s)
Proportion%Annual Growth Rate%
16,577 14,958 1,619 90.2 9.8
18,805 17,116 1,689 91.0 9.0 1.27 1.36 0.42
20,243 18,184 2,058 89.8 10.2 0.74 0.61 2.00
22,644 19,871 2,769 87.8 12.2 1.13 0.89 3.01
28,244 24,229 4,015 85.8 14.2 2.24 2.00 3.79
33,740 27,721 6,019 82.2 17.8 1.79 1.36 4.13
42,880 33,240 9,640 77.5 22.5 2.43 1.80 4.84
65,309 48,715 16,594 74.6 25.4 3.67 3.33 4.76
84,253 61,270 23,583 71.7 28.3 3.10 2.58 4.38
13,580 88,121 42,458 67.5 32.5 2.61 2.24 3.46
Census Reports
, Government of Pakistan
I. Contribution to gross domesticproduct by sector (%)1949/501996/97
53.2 24.2
7.8 26.4
(mostly services and trade)
39.0 49.4
II. Labour force by sector (%)1950/511994/95
65.3 46.8
9.5 18.52
(mostly services and trade)
25.2 34.69
III. Composition of exports (%)1951/521995/96
Primary commodities
99.2 16.0
Table A-1.2. Pakistan’s Economy: Basic Indicators
Source: Zaidi S.A(1999a)
tions in Central Asia. As a result, its cantonmentsexpanded. In 1935, Sindh became a province after itsseparation from the Bombay Presidency and Karachibecame its capital. Government offices and trade organ-isations shifted from Bombay to Karachi as a result andthe first industrial estate in Karachi was created. Andfinally, in 1947, Pakistan was created and Karachibecame its first capital.The demographic changes that have taken place inKarachi since independence are given in
and the expansion of the city is illustrated in
Maps A-2.1a
.The developments in the city during the past fivedecades are outlined below.
1947 – 1951: Karachi’s population increased by 161per cent. This was the result of the migration of 600,000refugees from India. This migration completely changedKarachi, not only demographically, but also culturallyand ethnically.
Table A2.2
summarises the change.
1947 – 1958: During this period migration from Indiacontinued. The refugees settled in squatter settlementson the city’s periphery and within the city itself occupy-ing open areas. Federal government offices were estab-lished along with foreign embassies. As a result,Karachi became a high-density compact city with acosmopolitan culture. Many plans for developing afederal capital area adjacent to the city were developedbut could not be implemented due to political instabilitycaused for the most part by left-wing student move-ments supported by the refugee population.
1958 – 1968: The army took over in 1958 anddecided to shift the capital to Islamabad. It also decidedto shift the refugee population and other recent migrantsfrom the squatter colonies to two townships, Landhi-Korangi and New Karachi, both about 20 km from the
Social Trends
In the urban areas there has been an increase in liter-acy; the narrowing of the male-female literacy gap; anincrease in the age at which people get married (espe-cially women); an increase in divorce rates; a reductionin the number of married people; and a trend towardsthe formation of nuclear families as opposed toextended ones. The figures for these trends are givenin Section 2.
2. History of Karachi
In the seventeenth century, Karak Bunder was a smallport on the Arabian Sea on the estuary of the Hub River,40 km west of present day Karachi. It was a transit pointfor the South Indian - Central Asian trade. The estuarysilted up due to heavy rains in 1728 and the harbour could no longer be used. As a result, the merchants of Karak Bunder decided to relocate their activities to whatis today known as Karachi. Trade increased between1729 and 1839 because of the silting up of Shah Bunder and Kiti Bunder (important ports on the Indus) and theshifting of their activities to Karachi.In 1839, the British conquered Karachi. They neededa port for landing troops for their Afghan campaignswhich were aimed to prevent the Russians from reach-ing the Arabian Sea. After the British conquest, Karachiexpanded rapidly. The major reason for Karachi’sgrowth was that the British developed perennial irriga-tion schemes in Punjab and Sindh (Karachi’s hinter-land) increasing agricultural production which wasexported through Karachi. The railways were devel-oped linking Karachi to its hinterland making the trans-portation of agricultural produce possible. As a result by1869, Karachi became the largest exporter of wheatand cotton in India. The opening of the Suez Canal in1869 made Karachi the first port of call for ships comingto India from Europe. During the First World War Karachi became the headquarters for British interven-UNDERSTANDING SLUMS:Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Table A-2.1. Karachi, Population Growth YearPopulationIncrease/Decrease Over Previous Census /SurveyNo.of YearsBetweenSurveysIncrease/Decrease(%)AverageAnnualGrowth Rate(%)
435,887 135,108 10 44.90 3.70
1,137,667 701,780 10 161.00 11.50
2,044,044 906,377 10 79.70 6.05
3,606,746 1,562,702 11 76.50 5.00
5,437,984 1,831,238 9 50.8 4.96
9,802,134 4,540,422 17 86.29 3.52
Census Reports
, Government of Pakistan
Table A-2.2. Demographic Changesdue to Partition19411951
450,000 1,137,000
Sindhi spoken asmother tongue (%)
61.2 8.6
Urdu spoken asmother tongue (%)
6.3 50
Hindu population (%)
51 2
Muslim population (%)
42 96
Census Reports
, Government of Pakistan

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