The capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad is located in the northwest of the country on Potohar Plateau. This area has been significant in history for being a part of the crossroads of the Rawalpindi and the North West Frontier Province. The city was built in 1960 to replace Karachi as the Pakistani capital, which it has been since 1963. Due to Islamabad's proximity to Rawalpindi, they are considered sister cities.
Compared to other cities of the country, Islamabad is a clean, spacious and quiet city with lots of greeneries. The site of the city has a history going back to the earliest human habitations in Asia. This area has seen the first settlement of Aryans from Central Asia, ancient caravans passing from Central Asia, and the massive armies of Tamerlane and Alexander.
To the north of the city you will find the Margalla Hills. Hot summers, monsoon rains and cold winters with sparse snowfall in the hills almost summarize the climate of this area. Islamabad also has a rich wildlife ranging from wild boars to leopards.
After the formation of Pakistan in 1947, it was felt that a new and permanent Capital City had to be built to reflect the diversity of the Pakistani nation. It was considered pertinent to locate the new capital where it could be isolated from the business and commercial activity of the Karachi, and yet is easily accessible from the remotest corner of the country.
A commission was accordingly set in motion in 1958, entrusted with the task of selecting a suitable site for the new capital with a particular emphasis on location, climate, logistics and defense requirements, aesthetics, and scenic and natural beauty.
After extensive research, feasibility studies and a thorough review of various sites, the commission recommended the area North East of the historic garrison city of Rawalpindi. After the final decision of the National Cabinet, it was put into practice. A Greek firm, Doxiadis Associates devised a master plan based on a grid system, with its north facing the Margallah Hills. The long-term plan was that Islamabad would eventually encompass Rawalpindi entirely, stretching to the West of the historic Grand Trunk road.
Islamabad nestles against the backdrop of the Margallah Hills at the northern end of Potohar Plateau. Its climate is healthy, pollution free, plentiful in water resources and lush green. It is a modern and carefully planned city with wide roads and avenues, elegant public buildings and well-organized bazaars, markets, and shopping centers.
The city is divided into eight basic zones: Administrative, diplomatic enclave, residential areas, educational sectors, industrial sectors, commercial areas, and rural and green areas.
The metropolis of Islamabad today is the pulsating beat of Pakistan, resonating with the energy and strength of a growing, developing nation. It is a city, which symbolizes the hopes and dreams of a young and dynamic nation and espouses the values and codes of the generation that has brought it thus far. It is a city that welcomes and promotes modern ides, but at the same time recognizes and cherishes its traditional values and rich history.
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