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Economic Exploitation of the Coastal Areas – 1

Since independence, Pakistan has been dependant upon only one Sea-port, Karachi, for its maritime communications. Most of the industries came up in Karachi because of the port or in the vicinity. From little more than a sleepy fishing village at the beginning of the century (population 100,000) to a population of about half a million in 1947 rising to the present level of 9 million, the city of Karachi has outgrown all possible permutations and combinations of socio-economic infrastructure and facilities, causing tremendous social and economic strain on the city’s masses. While over-population has been bad enough, the amalgam of various ethnic groups drawn to the city either as refugees from India or in search of employment from up-country has created social unrest, the various groups competing for economic dominance. This has been further exacerbated by different waves of refugees from Burma, Iran (pro- and anti-Shah), Afghan Refugees and a large influx of Bangladeshis as domestic help (and now, industrial labour).