Migration and its Impact on Political Scenario:The Case of Karachi

  • Mehtab S. Karim
  • Dr. Huma Baqai


The impact of population growth is felt on every wake of life. Themovement of population from one country to another or within a countryhas its own consequences. Goldstone et al (2012) have thus argued, thatthe world’s population is changing in ways that are historicallyunprecedented, having its own political consequences such as, theperformance of the government due to increasing demand for services andthe distribution of political power at intra-state level. Thus, internalmigration, which is from high fertility rural zones to urban centers -indeveloping countries like Pakistan- in search of livelihood andemployment, results in concentration of population in slums and squattersettlements on the one hand and a youth bulge in urban areas, furthercontributing to this phenomenon and unprecedented urbanization. State’sinability to address this demographic change effectively results in strainsresources and poor governance. In turn, it creates xenophobia, wherenative populations blame the new migrants for deteriorating civicamenities; and generates various conflicts of critical nature. Pakistan,since its inception as an independent country, has experienced bothinternational and internal migration that resulted in socio-economiccrisis, political agitation and violent ethnic conflicts. In this backdrop, this paper takes into account the migration patterns in Pakistan since 1947 and focuses on Karachi for it being the most affected city. It theorizes that the conflict matrix of Karachi is fairly indicative of fault lines and argues that these fault lines will turn into gaping holes if timely actions are not taken.