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Karachi 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. Results in that month of Pakistan's latest census initial tabulations show that the district is home to over 21 million people, at a density of nearly 6,000 people per square kilometer (15,500 per square mile).


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Karachi is the most populous city in the country, one of the world's largest cities in terms of population and also the 10th largest urban agglomeration in the world. It is Pakistan's premier 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 major hub of higher education in South Asia and the Muslim world.

Karachi is ranked as a Beta world city. It was the original capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a forward thrust capital in order to spread development much more evenly across the country and to prevent it from just 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, almost four times larger than Hong Kong. It is locally known[by whom?] as the "City of Lights" and "The bride of the cities" for its liveliness, and the "City of the Quaid", 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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