Since World War II, cities around the world have been steadily expanding. But Pakistan’s port city of Karachi has exploded — now nearly 30 times its former size. In his new book “Instant City,” NPR’s Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep explores life in Karachi as its citizens struggle and improvise to keep pace with the rapid development. Inskeep joins host Dave Iverson in the studio.

Steve Inskeep, author, reporter and co-host of NPR's Morning Edition

  • David

    Other than the dispute over Kashmir, how are India and Pakistan’s interests divergent. India is a very successful economy and democracy, and Pakistan is essentially a failed state. Would it be in the best interest of both party’s to settle that dispute and work together? It’s not as if India wants to restore its pre-partition territory. 

  • Shruti

    The last time that India tried to “settle”, Pakistan launched a war with India in Kargil.

  • Shruti

    There is a lot of cultural exchange between the two countries. The artists (poets, singers, actors) of both countries have great respect for each other and the celebrities of both countries are just as famous in the sister country. I, as an Indian from Punjab (half of which is in Pakistan) see almost no difference between the two countries culturally. The Mughal and Hindu cultures had co-existed for centuries before the countries divided.

  • Xx

    I caught just a few brief snatches of the program but from what I did catch it is clear that Inskeep is rather clueless about the region’s history – both recent and not so recent. But he’s not the first or last American to be guilty of such ignorance – it is a complex region! Pakistan’s – “land of the pure” – essential tragedy is existential; in its very  creation myths are the seeds of the current and ongoing disasters. In trying to be a pure Muslim state – more purely Muslim than the Arab Muslims. It is no secret that the Muslims of the sub-continent have always felt a little less Muslim than the “real” Muslims of the Arab world – the sub-continent’s Muslims are “recent” converts. Also they are are racially the same essentially as the Indians across the border with whom they share common culinary, musical, linguistic and other cultural traditions. These are the same peoples with more in common than they want to admit! 

    The only question is: what does Pakistan want to be when it finally reaches adulthood? Every child deserves a chance to experience their developmental stages from infancy through the emotional turmoil and angst of puberty. Will Pakistan survive its violent teenage years or meet its end in a drunken motorcycle crash?

    • Kav

      in fact he hit almost every point you were talking about

  • Arun

    Steve is a little too kind to Pakistanis when he says they have not had the same sense of identity as Indians.  In 1947, the Indian mindset was that of a defeated nation – occupied by Muslim invaders from 1200 – 1800 and then by the British – 1800 to 1947.   Pakistanis saw themselves as eventually conquering India like the Muslim invaders of old and identified with them. Pakistan did better than India economically until 1990, and Pakistanis were proud of their identity, which was that they were really Arab descendants, and anything but Indian – the Indians were sending droves to Arabian states to work in menial positions due to the “Hindu rate of growth” in India.

    It was not until after 1990, when India took off economically, and in the last 5 years, when India’s economic rise became measurable, that Pakistani’s are questioning their self imposed label of “anything but Indian”.  By contrast, Indian self confidence and pride in identity has grown due to economic success.  The pride of Indians identifying with an ancient culture was muted until economic success was achieved.I believe the decline of Pakistan is related to two things: (1) its Army and ISI, which use religion to create proxy wars, and puts guns over butter (2) its educated elite, which perpetuates this “anything but Indian” mindset in the mistaken belief that they are Arabs in mind and wealth. 

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