Urbanization

What is the main reason rural people prefer to live and stay in urban cities more than villages? In South Asia, Pakistan has the highest urbanisation rate, 36.4 in 2017 which was 32.5 in 1988. The rate is growing slowly. It might be a trouble for people and the government in the future.

The public, either villagers or citizens all want to taste the facilities of the modern world. The advancement and modernization in every institution bring facilities that are loved by everyone. But due to lack of facilities and less education in villages, the public love to settle in the cities. Such actions make cities more congested and polluted.

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Urbanisation is not a new story in Pakistan. In 1947, the year of Partition, masses of Indian Muslims (estimates range from 6 million to 8 million) crossed the new border. Many of these refugees settled in urban areas in the eastern Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Punjab.

Additional migratory flows occurred in 1965 and 1971, when wars between Pakistan and India resulted in more Indian Muslims streaming into Pakistani cities (certainly these wars also sparked outflows of Pakistani Hindus into urban India).

These new arrivals were mostly Urdu-speaking ethnic Mohajirs, who would later launch the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a political party that has dominated the southern metropolis of Karachi (in Sindh province) for decades.

In the 1990s, the anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan spawned a new exodus into urban Pakistan. Scores of Afghans, most of them ethnic Pashtuns, crossed the Durand Line into north-western Pakistan; as early as 1992, nearly 4 million had arrived. Initially they resided in border refugee camps, but because of economic struggles in these rural areas – the Pakistani government forbade Afghans to cultivate land –many ventured to the western Pakistani cities of Peshawar and Quetta.

Today, urbanisation continues to be fuelled by war, insecurity, and economic necessity. Pakistani military offensives in the rural north-west have induced many people to flee to cities. While most are civilians, militants – including the Pakistani Taliban – are on the move as well. According to some reports, 8,000 Taliban fighters now operate in Karachi.

RAHMATULLAH SHAFIQ

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Makran

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