Karachi, Pakistan

Like Istanbul is for Turkey, Karachi is the financial, transport and trade capital, and a former administrative capital of Pakistan. However, unlike Istanbul, Karachi is not Pakistan’s tourist capital (that is Lahore).

Hani’s family company is involved in trade via Karachi’s two main ports.

Karachi is a vast, sprawling city. The weather was mild during the day and occasionally chilly at night. Many coconut palms displayed their fruits and eagles plied the air.

Surprisingly, on 2 or 3 different occasions I saw transvestites street walking in the evening.

A new mosque

I went with Hani and his friends or family a few times to local landmark Cafe Clifton. There we parked and drank very strong, sweet, milky tea brought to the car by the waiter.

A street in central Karachi. Billboards were everywhere on the main thoroughfares.

The new years eve entertainment at the Pearl Continental Hotel, the location of Hani and Mehwish’s second wedding reception. For a city of 15 million people the entertainment options are very poor. I don’t even believe there is a nightclub there. Hani’s friends (mainly foreign educated) grumbled about the lack of things to do in Karachi.

Another busy Karachi street

25 December is a public holiday in Pakistan, not for Christmas, but for the birth of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the country’s founder, also known as Quaid-e-Azam (“Great Leader”) or Baba-e-Qaum (“Father of the Nation”). 25 December 2006 was the 130th anniversary of his birth. To celebrate this, there was a televised ceremony held in Karachi, Jinnah’s place of birth, attended by President Musharraf and other other political leaders.

Soldiers marching outside Mazar-e-Quaid, Jinnah’s Mausoleum

A video I shot of guard movements inside the mausoleum. Some people may recognise the music tune performed.(Note: This is my first ever video uploaded to YouTube).

The mausoleum. Note the eagles around the top.

As evidenced in this photo, thousands of eagles live in and around Karachi.

Karachi buses (and trucks) are vividly decorated (and often overcrowded).

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