"Islamabad Capital Territory, located on the "Pothohar Plateau of the "Punjab region, is considered one of the earliest sites of human settlement in Asia. Some of the earliest Stone Age artefacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. Rudimentary stones recovered from the terraces of the "Soan River testify to the endeavours of early man in the "inter-glacial period. Items of pottery and utensils dating back to prehistory have been found.
Excavations have revealed evidence of a prehistoric culture. Relics and human skulls have been found dating back to 5000 BC that show this region was home to "Neolithic people who settled on the banks of the "Swaan River, who developed small communities in the region at around 3000 BC. One end of the "Indus Valley Civilization flourished here between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Later the area was an early settlement of the "Aryan community. A Buddhist town once existed in the region. Many great armies such as those of "Zahiruddin Babur, "Genghis Khan, "Timur and "Ahmad Shah Durrani used the corridor through Islamabad on their way to invade the rest of the "Indian Subcontinent. Modern Islamabad is based on the old settlement known as "Saidpur. The "British took control of the region from the Sikhs in 1849 and built South Asia's largest cantonment in the region.
Construction and development
When Pakistan gained independence in 1947, the southern port city of Karachi was its first national capital. In the 1960s, Islamabad was constructed as a "forward capital for several reasons. Traditionally, development in Pakistan was focused on the colonial centre of Karachi, and President "Ayub Khan wanted it equally distributed. Moreover, Karachi having tropical weather conditions, was located at one end of the country, making it vulnerable to attacks from the "Arabian Sea. Pakistan needed a capital that was easily accessible from all parts of the country. Karachi, a business centre, was also considered unsuitable partly because of intervention of business interests in government affairs. The newly selected location of Islamabad was closer to the "army headquarters in "Rawalpindi and the disputed territory of "Kashmir in the north.
In 1958, a commission was constituted to select a suitable site for the national capital with particular emphasis on location, climate, logistics, and defence requirements along with other attributes. After extensive study, research, and a thorough review of potential sites, the commission recommended the area northeast of Rawalpindi in 1959. A Greek firm of architects, "Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis, designed the master plan of the city based on a "grid plan which was triangular in shape with its apex towards the "Margalla Hills. The capital was not moved directly from Karachi to Islamabad; it was first shifted temporarily to "Rawalpindi in the early sixties and then to Islamabad when the essential development work was completed in 1966.
Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most cosmopolitan and urbanised cities of Pakistan. As the capital city it has hosted a number of important meetings, such as the "South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit. Year 2014 has brought in major changes in Islamabad. Construction of the "Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus began on 28 February 2014 which was completed in March 2015, with 60 buses plying on the route. The Rawalpindi Development Authority lookafter the project with a cost of approximately Rs 24 billion, which was shared by both the Federal government and the provincial government of Punjab. In October 2005, the city suffered some damage due to the "2005 Kashmir earthquake which had a magnitude of 7.6. Islamabad has experienced a series of terrorist incidents including the July 2007 "Siege of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), the June 2008 "Danish embassy bombing, and the September 2008 "Marriott bombing. In 2011, four terrorism incidents occurred in the city, killing four people, including the murder of the then "Punjab Governor "Salmaan Taseer. Tragic air crashes also took place here: on 28 July 2010, "Airblue Flight 202 crashed in the "Margalla Hills killing all 152 flight crew and passengers on board and "Bhoja Air Flight 213 carrying 121 passengers crashed while making the final approach for landing, killing all on board on 20 April 2012.
Geography and climate
Rawal dam view from "Rawal Lake View Park in Islamabad
Islamabad is located atat the northern edge of the "Pothohar Plateau and at the foot of the "Margalla Hills in "Islamabad Capital Territory. Its "elevation is 540 metres (1,770 ft). The modern capital and the ancient "Gakhar city of Rawalpindi stand side by side and are commonly referred to as the Twin Cities, where no exact boundary exists between the two cities.
To the northeast of the city lies the hill station of "Murree, and to the north lies the "Haripur District of "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "Kahuta lies on the southeast, "Taxila, "Wah Cantt, and "Attock District to the northwest, "Gujar Khan, Rawat, and "Mandrah on the southeast, and the metropolis of "Rawalpindi to the south and southwest. Islamabad is located 120 kilometres (75 mi) SSW of "Muzaffarabad, 185 kilometres (115 mi) east of "Peshawar, 295 kilometres (183 mi) NNW of "Lahore, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) WSW of "Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of "Jammu and Kashmir.
The city of Islamabad expanses an area of 906 square kilometres (350 sq mi). A further 2,717 square kilometres (1,049 sq mi) area is known as the Specified Area, with the Margala Hills in the north and northeast. The southern portion of the city is an undulating plain. It is drained by the Kurang River, on which the "Rawal Dam is located.
The climate of Islamabad has a "humid subtropical climate ("Köppen: Cwa), with five seasons: Winter (November–February), Spring (March and April), Summer (May and June), Rainy Monsoon (July and August) and Autumn (September and October). The hottest month is June, where average highs routinely exceed 38 °C (100.4 °F). The wettest month is July, with heavy rainfalls and evening "thunderstorms with the possibility of "cloudburst and flooding. The coolest month is January. Islamabad's "micro-climate is regulated by three artificial reservoirs: "Rawal, "Simli, and "Khanpur Dam. The latter is located on the "Haro River near the town of "Khanpur, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Islamabad. Simli Dam is 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Islamabad. 220 acres (89 ha) of the city consists of "Margalla Hills National Park. Loi Bher Forest is situated along the "Islamabad Highway, covering an area of 1,087 acres (440 ha). The highest monthly rainfall of 743.3 mm (29.26 in) was recorded during July 1995. Winters generally feature dense fog in the mornings and sunny afternoons. In the city, temperatures stay mild, with snowfall over the higher elevations points on nearby hill stations, notably "Murree and "Nathia Gali. The temperatures range from 13 °C (55 °F) in January to 38 °C (100 °F) in June. The highest recorded temperature was 46.6 °C (115.9 °F) on 23 June 2005 while the lowest temperature was −6 °C (21.2 °F) on 17 January 1967. The city has recorded snowfall. On 23 July 2001, Islamabad received a record-breaking 620 mm (24 in) of rainfall in just 10 hours. It was the heaviest rainfall in Islamabad in the past 100 years and the highest rainfall in 24 hours as well.
|Climate data for Islamabad (1961–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.1
|Average high °C (°F)||17.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||10.1
|Average low °C (°F)||2.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−3.9
|Average "precipitation mm (inches)||56.1
|Mean monthly "sunshine hours||195.7||187.1||202.3||252.4||311.9||300.1||264.4||250.7||262.2||275.5||247.9||195.6||2,945.8|
|Source #1: NOAA (normals)|
|Source #2: PMD (extremes)|
|Zones in Islamabad|
|Source:||Lahore Real Estate|
The main administrative authority of the city is the "Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) with some help from Capital Development Authority (CDA), which oversees the planning, development, construction, and administration of the city. Islamabad Capital Territory is divided into eight zones: Administrative Zone, Commercial District, Educational Sector, Industrial Sector, Diplomatic Enclave, Residential Areas, Rural Areas and Green Area. Islamabad city is divided into five major zones: Zone I, Zone II, Zone III, Zone IV, and Zone V. Out of these, Zone IV is the largest in area. Zone I consists mainly of all the developed residential sectors while Zone II consists of the under-developed residential sectors. Each residential sector is identified by a letter of the alphabet and a number, and covers an area of approximately 2 km × 2 km ( 1 1⁄4 mi × 1 1⁄4 mi). The sectors are lettered from A to I, and each sector is divided into four numbered sub-sectors.
Series A, B, and C are still underdeveloped. The D series has seven sectors (D-11 to D-17), of which only sector D-12 is completely developed. This series is located at the foot of Margalla Hills. The E Sectors are named from E-7 to E-17. Many foreigners and diplomatic personnel are housed in these sectors. In the revised Master Plan of the city, CDA has decided to develop a park on the pattern of "Fatima Jinnah Park in sector E-14. Sectors E-8 and E-9 contain the campuses of "Bahria University, "Air University, and the "National Defence University. The F and G series contains the most developed sectors. F series contains sectors F-5 to F-17; some sectors are still under-developed. F-5 is an important sector for the software industry in Islamabad, as the two software technology parks are located here. The entire F-9 sector is covered with Fatima Jinnah Park. The "Centaurus complex is a major landmark of the F-8 sector. G sectors are numbered G-5 through G-17. Some important places include the Jinnah Convention Centre and "Serena Hotel in G-5, the "Red Mosque in G-6, and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, the largest medical complex in the capital, located in G-8.
The H sectors are numbered H-8 through H-17. The H sectors are mostly dedicated to educational and health institutions. "National University of Sciences and Technology covers a major portion of sector H-12. The I sectors are numbered from I-8 to I-18. With the exception of I-8, which is a well-developed residential area, these sectors are primarily part of the industrial zone. Currently two sub-sectors of I-9 and one sub-sector of "I-10 are used as industrial areas. CDA is planning to set up Islamabad Railway Station in Sector I-18 and Industrial City in sector I-17. Zone III consists primarily of the Margalla Hills and "Margalla Hills National Park. "Rawal Lake is in this zone. Zone IV and V consist of Islamabad Park, and rural areas of the city. The "Soan River flows into the city through Zone V.
Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area
When the master plan for Islamabad was drawn up in 1960, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, along with the adjoining areas, was to be integrated to form a large "metropolitan area called Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area. The area would consist of the developing Islamabad, the old colonial cantonment city of Rawalpindi, and Margalla Hills National Park, including surrounding rural areas. However, Islamabad city is part of the "Islamabad Capital Territory, while "Rawalpindi is part of "Rawalpindi District, which is part of province of "Punjab .
Initially, it was proposed that the three areas would be connected by four major highways: Murree Highway, "Islamabad Highway, Soan Highway, and Capital Highway. However, to date only two highways have been constructed: "Kashmir Highway (the former Murree Highway) and Islamabad Highway. Plans of constructing Margalla Avenue are also underway. Islamabad is the hub all the governmental activities while Rawalpindi is the centre of all industrial, commercial, and military activities. The two cities are considered sister cities and are highly interdependent.
Mega Mall of Islamabad "The Centaurus
Star and Crescent Monument near the start of "Shakarparian
Sunset over the "Lake View Park
view of "Blue Area, the commercial hub of the city.
Islamabad's architecture is a combination of modernity and old "Islamic and regional traditions. The Saudi-Pak Tower is an example of the integration of modern architecture with traditional styles. The beige-coloured edifice is trimmed with blue tile works in Islamic tradition, and is one of Islamabad's tallest buildings. Other examples of intertwined Islamic and modern architecture include "Pakistan Monument and "Faisal Mosque. Other notable structures are: Secretariat Complex designed by "Gio Ponti, Prime Minister’s secretariat based on "Mughal architecture and the "National Assembly by "Edward Durell Stone.
The murals on the inside of the large petals of Pakistan Monument are based on Islamic architecture. The Shah Faisal Mosque is a fusion of contemporary architecture with a more traditional large triangular prayer hall and four minarets, designed by "Vedat Dalokay, a Turkish architect and built with the help of funding provided by "King Faisal of "Saudi Arabia. The architecture of Faisal Mosque is unusual as it lacks a dome structure. It is a combination of Arabic, Turkish, and Mughal architectural traditions. "The Centaurus is an example of modern architecture under construction in Islamabad. The seven star hotel was designed by "WS Atkins PLC. The newly built "Islamabad Stock Exchange Towers is another example of modern architecture in the city.
Islamabad had an estimated population of around 1.67 million in 2011 which according to the estimate of Population Census Organization will rise to around 2 million in 2020. "Urdu, the national language of the country, is predominantly spoken within the city as well as English.["citation needed] The "mother tongue of the majority of the population is "Punjabi, at 68% and the major dialect is "Pothohari. 15% of the population are Pashto speakers, 18% speak other languages. The total migrant population of the city is 1 million, with the majority (691,977) coming from "Punjab. Around 210,614 of the migrated population came from "Sindh and rest from "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, "Azad Kashmir. Smaller populations emigrated from "Federally Administered Tribal Areas, "Balochistan, and "Gilgit–Baltistan.
The majority of the population lies in the age group of 15–64 years, around 59.38%. Only 2.73% of the population is above 65 years of age; 37.90% is below the age of 15. Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan, at 88%. 9.8% of the population has done intermediate education (equivalent to grades 11 and 12). 10.26% have a bachelor or equivalent degree while 5.2% have a master or equivalent degree. The labour force of Islamabad is 185,213 and the unemployment rate is 15.70%.
Islam is the largest religion in the city, with 95.53% of the population Muslim. In rural areas this percentage is 98.80%. Per 1998 census in urban areas the percentage of Muslims is 97.83%. The second largest religion is Christianity, with 4.07% of the population, 0.94% in rural areas and 5.70% in the city. "Hinduism accounts for 0.02% of the population, and other minorities 0.03%.
Islamabad is a net contributor to the Pakistani economy, as whilst having only 0.8% of the country's population, it contributes 1% to the country's GDP. "Islamabad Stock Exchange, founded in 1989, is Pakistan's third largest stock exchange after "Karachi Stock Exchange and "Lahore Stock Exchange, and was merged to form "Pakistan Stock Exchange. The exchange had 118 members with 104 "corporate bodies and 18 individual members. The average daily turnover of the stock exchange is over 1 million shares.
As of 2012[update], Islamabad LTU (Large Tax Unit) was responsible for Rs 371 billion in tax revenue, which amounts to 20% of all the revenue collected by Federal Board of Revenue. Islamabad has seen an expansion in "information and communications technology with the addition two "Software Technology Parks, which house numerous national and foreign technological and information technology companies. The tech parks are located in Evacuee Trust Complex and Awami Markaz. Awami Markaz houses 36 "IT companies while Evacuee Trust house 29 companies.
Islamabad is home to many migrants from other regions of Pakistan and has a cultural and religious diversity of considerable antiquity. Due to its location on the Pothohar Plateau, remnants of ancient cultures and civilisations such as "Aryan, "Soanian, and "Indus Valley civilisation can still be found in the region. A 15th-century "Gakhar fort, "Pharwala Fort, which was built on the remains of a 10th-century Hindu fort, is located near Islamabad. "Rawat Fort in the region was built by the "Gakhars in 16th century and contains the grave of the Gakhar chief, Sultan Sarang Khan.
"Saidpur village is supposedly named after Said Khan, the son of Sultan Sarang Khan. The 500-year-old village was converted into the a place of Hindu worship by a Mughal commander, Raja Man Singh. He constructed a number of small ponds: Rama kunda, Sita kunda, Lakshaman kunda, and Hanuman kunda. The region is home to many Hindu temples that are preserved, showing the history of Hindu civilisation and architecture in the region.. The shrine of Sufi mystic "Pir Meher Ali Shah is located at "Golra Sharif, which has a rich cultural heritage of the pre-Islamic period. Archaeological remains of the Buddhist era can also still be found in the region. The shrine of "Bari Imam was built by "Mughal Emperor "Aurangzeb. Thousands of devotees from across Pakistan attend the annual "Urs of Bari Imam. The event is one of the largest religious gatherings in Islamabad. In 2004, the Urs was attended by more than 1.2 million people.
The "Lok Virsa Museum in Islamabad preserves a wide variety of expressions of folk and traditional cultural legacy of Pakistan. It is located near the "Shakarparian hills and boasts a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, musical instruments, woodwork, utensils and folkloristic objects from the region and other parts of Pakistan.
Islamabad boasts the highest literacy rate in Pakistan at 88%, and has some of the most advanced educational institutes in the country. A large number of "public and "private sector educational institutes are present here. The higher education institutes in the capital are either federally chartered or administered by private organisations and almost all of them are recognised by the "Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. High schools and colleges are either affiliated with the "Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education or with the "UK universities education boards, O/A Levels, or "IGCSE. According to Academy of Educational Planning and Management's report, in 2009 there were a total of 913 recognised institutions in Islamabad (31 pre-primary, 2 "religious, 367 primary, 162 "middle, 250 high, 75 higher secondary and intermediate colleges, and 26 "degree colleges). There are seven "teacher training institutes in Islamabad with a total enrolment of 604,633 students and 499 faculty.
The "Gender Parity Index in Islamabad is 0.93 compared to the 0.95 national average. There are 178 boys only institutes, 175 girls only, and 551 "mixed institutes in Islamabad. Total enrolment of students in all categories is 267,992; 138,272 for boys and 129,720 for girls. There are 16 recognised universities in Islamabad with a total enrolment of 372,974 students and 30,144 teachers. Most of the top ranked universities; "National University of Sciences and Technology, "COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and "Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences, also have their headquarters in the capital. The "world's second largest general university by enrolment, "Allama Iqbal Open University is located in Islamabad for distance education. Other universities include "Air University, "Bahria University, "Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, "Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, "Hamdard University, "National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, "Capital University of Science & Technology, "National Defence University, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, "National University of Modern Languages, "Iqra University, "International Islamic University, "Virtual University of Pakistan, "Muhammad Ali Jinnah University and "The Millennium University College.
Islamabad has the lowest rate of infant mortality in the country at 38 deaths per thousand compared to the national average of 78 deaths per thousand. Islamabad has both public and private medical centres. The largest hospital in Islamabad is "Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital. It was established in 1985 as a teaching and doctor training institute. PIMS functions as a National Reference Center and provides specialised diagnostic and curative services. The hospital has 30 major medical departments. PIMS is divided into five administrative branches. Islamabad Hospital is the major component with a 592-bed facility and 22 medical and surgical specialties.
The Children's Hospital is a 230-bed hospital completed in 1985. It contains six major facilities: Surgical and Allied Specialties, Medical and Allied Specialties, Diagnostic Facilities, Operation Theatre, Critical Care (NICU, PICU, Isolation & Accident Emergency), and a Blood Bank. The Maternal and Child Health Care Center is a training institute with an attached hospital of 125 beds offering different clinical and operational services. PIMS consists of five academic institutes: Quaid-e-Azam Postgraduate Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Medical Technology, School of Nursing, and Mother and Child Health Center.
PAEC General Hospital and teaching institute, established in 2006, is affiliated with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. The hospital consists of a 100-bed facility and 10 major departments: "Obstetrics and "Gynecology, "Pediatric, "General Medicine, "General Surgery, "Intensive Care Unit/"Coronary Care Unit, "Orthopedics, "Ophthalmology, "Pathology, "Radiology, and "Dental Department. Shifa International Hospital is a teaching hospital in Islamabad that was founded in 1987 and became a public company in 1989. The hospital has 70 qualified consultants in almost all specialties, 150 "IPD beds and "OPD facilities in 35 different specialisations. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics of the Government of Pakistan, in 2008 there were 12 hospitals, 76 "dispensaries, and 5 Maternity and Child Welfare Centers in the city with a total of 5,158 beds.
|A graphic animation showing details of the new Islamabad International Airport|
Airports: Islamabad is connected to major destinations around the world through "Benazir Bhutto International Airport, previously known as Islamabad International Airport. The airport is the third largest in Pakistan and is located outside Islamabad, in "Chaklala, Rawalpindi. In fiscal year 2004–2005, over 2.88 million passengers used Benazir Bhutto International Airport and 23,436 aircraft movements were registered. "Islamabad Gandhara International Airport is under construction at "Fateh Jang to cope with the increasing number of passengers. When completed, the airport will be the largest in Pakistan. The airport will be built at a cost of $400 million and is expected to be complete and operational by 2016. This will be the first green field airport in Pakistan with an area of 3,600-acre (15 km2).
The "Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus is a 24 km (14.9 mi) "bus rapid transit system that serves the twin cities of "Rawalpindi and Islamabad in "Pakistan. It uses dedicated bus lanes for all of its route covering 24 bus stations.
All major cities and towns are accessible through regular trains and bus services running mostly from the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi. "Lahore and "Peshawar are linked to Islamabad through a network of motorways, which has significantly reduced traveling times between these cities. Islamabad is itself situated on G.T Road (N-5); in the southern patch from Highway Chowk till Swan camp and in the norther patch from Motorway Chowk till Nicholson square. Moreover, Islamabad is also situated on Rawalpindi-Srinagar Kashmir Road which is also called as N-75 from Islamabad till Kohala and Islamabad-Murree Expressway from Satra Meel, Islamabad till Lower Topa, Murree (an alternate old route is also available from Satra Meel till Lower Topa via Murree City). A national highway N-80 connects Islamabad to Kohat via Fateh Jang while a highway connects Islamabad to Rawalkot via Kahuta and Azad Patan. Another road connect Islamabad to Kolti Sattian via Lehtrar.
Islamabad Highway is the main artery of the city which runs from Highway Chowk (G.T Road) till Zero point and is being changed into a signal free corridor. A patch of this Highway from Zero point till Faisal Mosque is known as Faisal Avenue (8th Avenue).
"M-2 Motorway is 367 km (228 mi) long and connect Islamabad and Lahore. "M-1 Motorway connects Islamabad with Peshawar and is 155 km (96 mi) long. Islamabad is linked to Rawalpindi through the "Faizabad Interchange, which has a daily traffic volume of about 48,000 vehicles.
Islamabad's Karachi Company Bus terminal is a busy destination and is located in Sector G-9; another newly constructed bus terminal "Islamabad Bus Terminal" has started working on Motorway Chowk. There are many privately operated transport terminals in Faizabad, Sitara Market(G-7) Terminal of NATCO Bus service (which has a fleet of bus service for different cities of Gilgit Baltistan from Islamabad and Rawalpind) is located on Faqir Aipi road in Sector I-11. Islamabad's railway station (also known as Margalla Railway station) is situated in Sector I-9 which is connect to the main railway line at Nori Junction Railway station (located near Sector I-12). Golra Sharif Junction railway station of Islamabad is situated near Sector G-13 on main railway line; a railway line takes off to Multan via Western Punjab from this station.
Islamabad has a multi-purpose Sports Complex opposite "Aabpara. The complex includes Liaquat Gymnasium for indoor games, Mushaf Squash Complex and Jinnah Stadium for outdoor games, which is a venue for regular national and international events. "2004 SAF Games were held in the stadium. There is another Multipurpose Sports Complex in the F6 Markaz. Offered facilities include Tennis courts, a basketball court with fibre-glass boards and a "Futsal ground which introduced artificial turf to the people of Islamabad. Major sports in the city include "Cricket, "Football, "Squash, "Hockey, Table Tennis, Rugby and "Boxing. The city is home to "Islamabad United which won the first ever "Pakistan Super League in "2016. Islamabad also has various rock climbing spots in the Margalla Hills. Swimming pools of Pakistan Sports Complex are good. There are three pools for children. These facilities attract a large gathering on weekends. Few swimmers, however, demand more hygienic conditions in showers and rest rooms.
Twin towns and sister cities
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- "Amman, Jordan
- "Beijing, China
- "Seoul, South Korea
- "Jakarta, Indonesia 1984, Restarted in 2010
- "Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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