A capital city is a city or town, specified by law or constitution, by the government of a country, or part of a country, such as a state, province or county. It usually serves as the location of the government’s central meeting place and offices.
Islamabad Capital Territory, located on the Pothohar Plateau of the Punjab region, is considered one of the earliest sites of human settlement in Asia.
Islamabad was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan’s capital. Islamabad officially became the capital of Pakistan on 14 August 1967, exactly 20 years after the country’s independence. Previously, Rawalpindi was the capital, designated in 1958. The first capital of Pakistan was the coastal city of Karachi, which was selected by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Karachi was and still is the largest city and economic capital of Pakistan. It remained the seat of government until 1959, when the military president, Ayub Khan, decided to build a new capital in the north of Pakistan, near the general headquarters of the Pakistani Armed Forces at Rawalpindi.
Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the northeastern part of the country, between Rawalpindi District and the Margalla Hills National Park to the north.
The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Margalla Pass acting as the gateway between the two regions.
Zones of Islamabad:
The city’s master-plan divides the city into eight zones, including
And rural and green areas each with its own shopping area and park.
Islamabad is also home to the Faisal Masjid which is well known for its architecture and immense size.The city is known for the presence of several parks and forests, including the Margalla Hills National Park and Shakarparian Park. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest in the world. Other landmarks include the Pakistan’s National Monument and Democracy Square.
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 Indian Subcontinent.
Why Capital of Pakistan moved from Karachi t0 Islamabad??
The reasons for relocating the capital from Karachi are that would reflect the diversity of the Pakistani people, it would be separated from the business and commercial activity of Karachi, and also it would be easily accessible from all parts of the country. The move to Islamabad was not completed until the late 1960s and for some years several government ministries were based in nearby Rawalpindi. However the capital was not moved directly from Karachi to Islamabad but first moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi then to Islamabad.
Pakistan’s military dictator Ayub Khan decided to shift the capital city from Karachi to Islamabad in late 1950 as Karachi had become economic hub of the country and the infrastructure of the city was proving inadequate for the growing needs of the city. Before 1947 Karachi’s population was barely one million but after independence of India and creation of Pakistan, over 6 million refugees from India settled in Karachi and many civic problems arose including that of transport and sanitation and water and sewerage services were proving inadequate and many slum areas had arisen.
The development of the country was focused on Karachi and President Ayub Khan wanted it to be equally distributed. He wanted Islamabad to be a modern and clean city, especially in comparison to other cities in Pakistan. It is well-organized, with the city being divided into different sectors and zones.