|— Capital City —|
|Nickname(s): The Green City|
Location within Pakistan
|- Governing body||Capital Development Authority (CDA)|
|- Chief Commissioner||Fazeel Asghar|
|- Chairman CDA||Imtiaz Inayat Elahi|
|- Capital City||120.00 km2 (46.3 sq mi)|
|- Metro||233.00 km2 (90 sq mi)|
|- Specified area||3,626.00 km2 (1,400 sq mi)|
|- Rural area||466.00 km2 (179.9 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,604 m (5,263 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||457 m (1,499 ft)|
|- Capital City||689,249 (2,010 est.), 529,180 (1,998 census)|
|- Density||880/km2 (2,279.2/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Islamabad (Punjabi, Pashto, Urdu: اسلام آباد) Islām ābād (Meaning "Abode of Islam" or "Abode of Peace") is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. The population of the city has increased from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.21 million in 2009. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad Metropolitan Area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants.
Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the north of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Margalla pass acting as the gateway between the two regions. The city was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital.
Islamabad is a well-organized city divided into different sectors and zones. It was ranked as a Gamma world city in 2008. The city is home to Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world.
Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan and is home to the some of the top ranked universities in Pakistan, including Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the National University of Sciences and Technology. Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad is the world's largest university by enrollment,.
History of Islamabad,
Early history of Islamabad,
15th century Pharwala Fort beside the Swaan River,
Rawat Fort, built by the Gakhars in the 16th century,
Islamabad Capital Territory, located on the Pothohar Plateau, is regarded to be one of the earliest sites of human settlement in Asia. Some of the earliest Stone Age artifacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. The crude 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. The Neolithic people developed small communities in the region at around 3000 BC. A Buddhist town once existed in the region.
Situated at one end of the Indus Valley Civilization, the area was the first habitation of the Aryan community in Central Asia. Their civilization flourished here between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Many great armies such as those of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur and Ahmad Shah Durrani used the corridor through Islamabad on their way to invade 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 Asia's largest cantonment in the region.
Construction and development
When Pakistan gained Independence in 1947, Karachi was its first capital. In 1960, 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 to be equally distributed. Moreover, Karachi was located at one end of the country, making it vulnerable to attacks from the Arabian Sea. A capital which was easily accessible from all parts of the country was needed. The newly selected location of Islamabad was closer to 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. A Greek firm of architects, Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis, designed the master plan of the city which was based on a grid plan and 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 and then to Islamabad when the development was completed,.
Recent history of Islamabad,
Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, making it the most cosmopolitan city in the country.As the capital city it has hosted a number of important meetings, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit. In October 2005, the city suffered some damage due to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake having 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. A tragic incident took place on 28 July 2010, when a plane belonging to the Pakistani airline, Air Blue, crashed in the Margalla Hills killing all 152 flight crew and passengers on board,.
Geography and climate of Islamabad,
Rawal lake in Islamabad,.
Islamabad is located at 33.43°N 73.04°E at the edge of the Pothohar Plateau at the foot of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad Capital Territory. Its elevation is 507 metres (1,663 ft). The modern capital and the ancient Gakhar city of Rawalpindi stand side by side and are commonly referred to as the Twin Cities. To the east of the city lies Murree and Kotli Sattian. To the north lies the Haripur District of North-West Frontier Province. Kahuta lies on the northeast, Taxila, Wah Cantt, and Attock District to the northwest, Gujar Khan, Kallar Syedian, Rawat, and Mandrah on the northeast, and Rawalpindi to the southwest. Islamabad is located 120 kilometres (75 mi) SSW of Muzaffarabad, 185 kilometres (115 mi) east of Peshawar, 295 kilometres (183 mi) NNE of Lahore, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) WSW of Srinagar, the capital of Indian Kashmir.
The area of Islamabad is 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.
Islamabad's micro-climate is regulated by three artificial reservoirs; Rawal, Simli, and Khanpur Dam. Khanpur Dam is located on the Haro River near the town of Khanpur (NWFP), about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Islamabad. Simli Dam is located 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),.
Climate of Islamabad,
Islamabad features an atypical version of a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers accompanied by a monsoon season followed by mild and wet winters. The hottest months are from May to July, where average highs routinely exceed 38 °C (100.4 °F). The monsoon season is from July through September, with heavy rainfalls and evening thunderstorms. Highest monthly rainfall of 743.3 millimetres (29.26 in) was recorded during the month of July 1995. Winters are from October to March with temperatures variable by location. In the city, temperatures stay mild, with sparse snowfall over the Margalla Hills. The weather ranges from 15 °C (59.0 °F) in January to 37 °C (98.6 °F) in June. The highest temperature recorded was 46.6 °C (115.9 °F) on June 23rd, 2005 while the lowest temperature was −3.9 °C (25.0 °F) on January 17th 1967. On 23 July 2001, Islamabad received a record breaking 620 millimetres (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.
|[hide]Climate data for Islamabad|
|Record high °C (°F)||24|
|Average high °C (°F)||16|
|Average low °C (°F)||2|
|Record low °C (°F)||-4|
|Precipitation mm (inches)||64|
|Avg. precipitation days||7||6||7||6||4||7||13||10||5||2||1||3||71|
|Source: BBC Weather|
|Zones in Islamabad|
|Source:||Lahore Real Estate|
Civic administration in Islamabad,
The main administrative authority of the city is Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICT) 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.
Islamabad Blue Area,
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 three Defense universities: Bahria University, Air University, and the National Defence University,.
Satellite view of Islamabad and Rawalpindi,
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 will be one of the major landmarks of the F-8 sector. G sectors are numbered G-5 through G-17. Some important places include the Jinnah Convention Center 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,.
A view of the under construction Centaurus,
Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area,
Places in Islamabad,
When the master plan for Islamabad was drawn up in 1960, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, along with the adjoining areas, would be integrated to form a large metropolitan area called Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area. The area would consist of the developing Islamabad, the old colonial, cantonement city of Rawalpindi, and Margalla Hills National Park, including surrounding rural areas. The three combined areas are now called Islamabad Capital Territory.
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.
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,.
Architecture in Islamabad,
National Monument of Pakistan,
Night view of the Faisal Mosque from Margalla Hills,
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.
The murals on the inside of the large petals of Pakistan Monument are based on Islamic architecture. The design of Shah Faisal Mosque is a fusion of contemporary architecture with a more traditional large triangular prayer hall and four minarets. 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.
|Population through decades|
|2009 (est.)||1,210,000||Not available|
|Sources:||1998 Census of Pakistan|
1998 Census of Pakistan
Islamabad has a population of 1.21 million as of 2009. According to the 1998 census, the total population of the city was 805,235, with 434,239 males and 370,996 females. The average annual population growth rate from 1981 to 1998 was 5.19. The urban population of the city was 529,180, with 209,717 males and 238,463 females. The total rural population in 1998 was 276,055, with 143,522 males and 132,533 females.
Urdu is predominantly spoken within the city due to the ethnic mix of populations. English, being the official language of Pakistan, is also commonly understood. Other languages include Punjabi, Pashto and Pothohari. The mother tongue of the majority of the population is Punjabi, at 55%. 15% of the population are native Pashto speakers. Urdu is the mother tongue of 10% of the population, Sindhi 10% and other languages accounting for 10%. The total migrant population of the city is 397,731, with the majority from Punjab (241,977). Around 76,614 of the migrated population came from North-West Frontier Province, 26,143 from Sindh, 24,438 from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and 21,372 from other countries. Smaller populations emigrated from Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Baluchistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Islam is the largest religion in the city, with 95.53% of the population Muslim. In rural areas this percentage is 98.80%, while in urban areas the percentage of Muslims is 93.83%. 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%.
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 87%. 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 labor force of Islamabad is 185,213 and the unemployment rate is 15.70%,.
Jinnah Avenue is located in Blue Area, the main business district of Islamabad,
Islamabad Stock Exchange Building,
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. The exchange has 118 members with 104 corporate bodies and 18 individual members. The average daily turnover of the stock exchange is over 1 million shares.
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 IT 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. Call centers for foreign companies have been targeted as another significant area of growth, with the government making efforts to reduce taxes by as much as 10% in order to encourage foreign investments in the IT sector.
Most of Pakistan's state-owned companies like PIA, PTV, PTCL, OGDCL, and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd. are based in Islamabad. The city is home to many branches of Karachi-based companies, banks, and TV channels. Headquarters of all major telecommunication operators such as PTCL, Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, China Mobile and others are located in Islamabad,.
Culture in Islamabad,
Rahat Multani singing at National Art Gallery, Islamabad
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 civilizations such as Aryan, Soanian, and Indus Valley civilization can still be found in the region. A 15th century Gakhar fort, Pharwala Fort, is located near Islamabad which was built on the remains of a 10th century Hindu fort. Rawat Fort in the region was built by the Gakhars in 16th century where the grave of the Gakhar chief, Sultan Sarang Khan, is located.
Saidpur Village in Islamabad is 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 civilization and architecture in the region.
A sitar workshop in Islamabad
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 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 in Islamabad preserves the living folk and traditional culture of Pakistan. The Folk Heritage Museum, located near Shakarparian hills, has a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, woodwork, black printing, ivory, and bone work from the region and other parts of Pakistan,.
Infrastructure in Islamabad,
Educational institutes in Islamabad/Rawalpindi,
National Defence University,
International Islamic University,
Islamabad boasts the highest literacy rate in Pakistan at 87%.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 organizations and almost all of them are recognized 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 2006 there were a total of 904 recognized institutions in Islamabad (30 pre-primary, 2 religious, 384 primary, 157 middle, 291 high, 15 intermediate, and 25 degree colleges). There are seven teacher training institutes in Islamabad with a total enrollment of 581,068 students and 491 faculty.
The Gender Parity Index in Islamabad is 0.93 compared to 0.95 for Pakistan. There are 178 boys only institutes, 175 girls, and 551 mixed institutes in the capital territory. Total enrollment of students in all categories is 273,583; 139,961 for boys and 133,622 for girls.
There are 17 recognized universities in Islamabad with a total enrollment of 279,820 students and 25,653 teachers. The world's second largest university by enrollment, Allama Iqbal Open University, is located in Islamabad. The two top engineering universities in Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences and National University of Sciences and Technology also have their headquarters in the capital. Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad is the top ranked university in Pakistan in the general category. Other universities include Air University, Bahria University, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, COMSATS, Hamdard University, National Defence University, Shifa College of Medicine, National University of Modern Languages, International Islamic University, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah University.
In 2006–2007, the Federal Government spent a total of 54,523.637 million Rs. on the education sector out of which 25,830.670 million was the developmental fund. This amount is 25.18% of the total educational budget spend in that year, which was 216,518.059 million Rs. The public expenditure on education as a percentage of total government spending that year was 14.09%,.
Health care in Islamabad,
Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS)
Islamabad has both public and private medical centres. The largest hospital in Islamabad is Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital. It was established in 1985 as a teaching and doctor training institute. PIMS functions as a National Reference Center and provides specialized 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 specialities. Children's Hospital is a 230 bed hospital completed in 1985. It contains six major facilities: Surgical and Allied Specialities, 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 specialities, 150 IPD beds and OPD facilities in 35 different specializations.
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,.
Transport in Islamabad,
Benazir Bhutto International Airport
Faizabad Interchange connects Islamabad with Rawalpindi
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.New Islamabad 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 will be completed by the end of 2011. This will be the first green field airport in Pakistan with an area of 3,600-acre (15 km2).All major cities and towns are accessible through regular trains and bus services running mostly from the neighboring city of Rawalpindi. Lahore and Peshawar are linked to Islamabad through a network of motorways which has resulted in a significant reduction in traveling times between these cities. M-2 Motorway is 367 km long and connect Islamabad and Lahore. M-1 Motorway connects Islamabad with Peshawar and is 155 km long. Islamabad is linked to its sister city Rawalpindi through the Faizabad Interchange, the first cloverleaf interchange in Pakistan with a daily traffic volume of about 48,000 vehicles.