Situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea,
Karachi is the site of Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as Pakistan's busiest airport, Karachi is Pakistan's major industrial and transit hub. Ranked as a beta world city, the city is Pakistan's premier financial centre.
As the most linguistic, ethnically, and religious diverse city in Pakistan, Karachi exerts strong cultural influence over the rest of Pakistan.
Known as the "City of Lights" in the 1960's and 1970's for its vibrant nightlife, Karachi was beset by sharp ethnic and political conflict in the 1980's with the arrival of weaponry from the War in Afghanistan.
Covering area of approximately 3,527 km2(1,362 sq mi), Karachi's expansive metro region has a population density estimated at more than 6,000 people per square kilometre (15,500 per square mile).
Though the Karachi region has been inhabited for millennia, the city traces its roots to a small mixed Sindhi and Balochifishing village named Kolachi. Karachi was formally established as a fortified trading settlement in 1729.
The settlement drastically increased in importance with the arrival of British colonialists who embarked on a major works at the city's port, and established connections to the British India's extensive railway system.[26