Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi

Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi

Steve Inskeep

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0143122169

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Morning Edition cohost Steve Inskeep presents a riveting account of a single harrowing day in December 2009 that sheds light on the constant tensions in Karachi, Pakistan—when a bomb blast ripped through a Shia religious procession, followed by the torching of hundreds of businesses in Karachi’s commercial district. Through interviews with a broad cross section of Karachi residents, Inskeep peels back the layers of that terrible day. It is the beginning, and a constant touchstone, in a journey across the city’s epic history and its troubled present Thrilling and deeply researched, Instant City tells the story of one of the world’s fastest-growing metropolises and the forces competing to shape its future.

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Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication PART ONE - JINNAH ROAD Chapter 1 - PROMENADE Chapter 2 - LIGHTHOUSE Chapter 3 - NATIONAL ARMS PART TWO - LANDMARKS Chapter 4 - JINNAH’S TOMB Chapter 5 - SHRINE AND TEMPLE Chapter 6 - GROUNDBREAKING Chapter 7 - SELF-SERVICE LEVITTOWN Chapter 8 - CASINO PART THREE - NEW KARACHI Chapter 9 - ICON Chapter 10 - EMERGENCY NUMBERS Chapter 11 - AIRPORT ROAD Chapter 12 - PARKS AND RECREATION Chapter 13 - PREMIER

the International Monetary Fund. They cleared the way for the modern global economy, and in the process encouraged the growth of many of the world’s cities. The war’s victors also laid the foundations of new conflicts. Maps drawn in the postwar years defined generations of struggle—from South Asia to the Middle East, and from Korea to the heart of Europe. Jinnah became an essential player in this process when he took part in the perilous decision to divide India along religious lines. The

archival photo of the Great Leader in a quiet moment. He was wearing his sherwani unbuttoned. He was seated, resting his left elbow on the arm of a chair. His face was so thin, the skin so taut, that he almost looked young again. He was looking downward, in prayer or in thought. It was the expression of a man who had been asked for advice on a difficult question, and was considering how to say what must be said. Pakistanis would never know the answer. At Jinnah’s funeral the next day, the coffin

procession on December 28, 2009. He built neighborhoods such as Sau Quarter, where the Shia marcher Mohammad Raza Zaidi woke on his final morning alive. And he built Jinnah’s long-delayed tomb, putting the old lawyer to rest in more ways than one. A picture from another December shows Ayub beginning his work. The photo is from December 1958, preserved in a frail old copy of a newspaper called the Times of Karachi. The image shows the general himself, in a khaki uniform, his army cap firmly on

of this hill like a flood. “When I came,” said the employee at the top of a waterslide, “there were just a few homes over there, but now there are many.” I’d seen the houses on the way in, big and boxy and spread out, many surrounded by boundary walls. Here and there stood a half-built apartment building or a corner barbecue restaurant. Some of the roads were fully paved and split by medians; others were gravel. Some city blocks were filled, and others were waiting for new buildings, like

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