Karachi has an undisputed place in the economy of the country and in the affections of its citizens. The glowing capital of Sindh is loved in spite of its glaring shortcomings. In the imagination of its people it stands for a lifestyle that is at once modern and yet more leisured than the frenetic megacities elsewhere. Its citizens are capable of dealing with their problems. Karachi is a new city but it is old in its wisdom and tolerance. Above all it is a cosmopolitan city which demands civilized attitudes from its most unruly citizens. It is this mainstream Karachi that this book is about. Karachi Megacity of Our Times is the story of the transformation of a sleepy town of under 20,000 people into a vibrant metropolis, one of the largest in Asia today. Thirteen prominent writers of Karachi take the reader through post-independence developments in politics, economics, the arts, demography and architecture. Some of the articles are very personal, evoking nostalgia for the Karachi that was; others are analytical, drawing on available data to predict the course that this turbulent city will take in the future. Part of the book is also devoted to the ‘long nineteenth century’ when the Englishman ruled and divided the city into ‘white’ and ‘native’ quarters, and there is a section on people who have contributed to the city’s welfare. The book is profusely illustrated with maps, photographs, and illustrations.
Dr Hamida Khuhro was educated at the Universities of Karachi, Cambridge, London, and Oxford. She taught at the universities of Karachi, Oxford and, lastly, Sindh where she was Professor of History. She left to concentrate on writing and politics and has twice served as Minister for Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh. She has led a number of delegations abroad, and served on political, academic, and government committees. She has published various books including The Making of Modern Sindh, Mohammad Ayub Khuhro: Life of Courage in Politics and as editor Sindh through the Centuries and Papers of the Separation of Sind from Bombay Presidency. She has contributed as founder, editor and contributor to various academic journals.
Anwer Mooraj was educated in India and England and was a graduate of the London School of Economics. He started his journalistic career in Dawn, was the founding editor of The Herald in 1970 and served as chief executive of the Gulf News, Dubai from 1982 to 1985. He has widely travelled and was the author of Sand, Cacti and People (1965), Wild Strawberries and Harbour Lights (1992), and co-editor with Dr Khuhro of the first edition of Karachi Megacity of Our Times (1997). He was a management expert and his last assignment was as chief executive of the Pakistan American Cultural Center, the world’s largest bi-national centre which he served from 1990 to 2004.