Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan located within the federal Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, With a population of over 1 million, makes it the 9th largest city of Pakistan, while the larger Islamabad Capital Territory is the 6th largest in Pakistan with a population exceeding 2 million.
The city is administered by the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, supported by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) which oversees the planning, development, construction, and administration of the city.
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.
Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. it is the 9th largest city having Urban population exceeding 1 million.
Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most cosmopolitan and urbanised cities of Pakistan.
Islamabad is Ranked second on the list of the most beautiful capitals in the world.
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. 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.
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.
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 square km. The sectors are lettered from A to I, and each sector is divided into four numbered sub-sectors.
Sectors A, B, and C are still underdeveloped. The D Sectors are D-11 to D-17, of which only sector D-12 is completely developed. The E Sectors are named from E-7 to E-17. Many foreigners and diplomatic personnel are housed in these sectors.
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.
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.
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 is located at 33.43N 73.04E at the edge of the Pothohar Plateau at the foot of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad Capital Territory. Its elevation is 507m (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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kahuta lies on the northeast, Taxila, Wah Cantt, and Attock District to the northwest, Gujar Khan, Kallar Syedan, Rawat, and Mandrah on the northeast, and Rawalpindi to the southwest. Islamabad is located 120 km SSW of Muzaffarabad, 185 km east of Peshawar, 295 km NNE of Lahore, and 300 km WSW of Srinagar, the capital of Indian Kashmir.
The area of Islamabad is 906 square km. A further 2,717 square km 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.
Islamabads micro-climate is regulated by three artificial reservoirs; Rawal, Simli, and Khanpur Dam.
The climate of Islamabad has a humid subtropical climate, with five seasons: Winter (Nov to Feb), Spring (March to April), Summer (May to June), Rainy Monsoon (July to August) and Autumn (September to October). The hottest month is June, where average highs routinely exceed 38C. The wettest month is July, with heavy rainfall and evening thunderstorms with the possibility of cloudburst. The coolest month is January, with temperatures variable by location. In Islamabad, temperatures vary from cold to mild, routinely dropping below zero. In the hills there is sparse snowfall.
The Temperature ranges from a minimum of 3.9C in January to a maximum of 46.1C in June. The average low is 2C in January, while the average high is 38.1C in June. The highest temperature recorded was 46.5C in June, while the lowest temperature was 4C in January.
On 23 July 2001, Islamabad received a record breaking 620 millimetres (24 in) of rain fell in just 10 hours. It was the heaviest rainfall in 24 hours in Islamabad and at any locality in Pakistan during the past 100 years.
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.
Also New Islamabad International Airport for Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area currently under construction, expected to open for commercial flights in December 2017. This will be the first green field airport in Pakistan with an area of 3,600-acre.
M-2 Motorway is 367 km long and connect Islamabad and Lahore.
M-1 Motorway connects Islamabad with Peshawar and is 155 km long.
N-5 also connect Islamabad to all the major cities including Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Nowshera and Peshawar.
Islamabad is linked to Rawalpindi through the Faizabad Interchange, which has a daily traffic volume of about 50,000 vehicles.
All major cities and towns are accessible through regular trains and bus services running mostly from the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi.
Islamabad railway station formerly Margalla railway station is located in sector I-9 Islamabad
Green Line Express is a passenger train operating daily by Pakistan Railways between Karachi and Islamabad. The trip takes approximately 22 hours to cover the distance of 1,521 kilometres.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus is a 24 km 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. Metro Bus has Unique existing in Pakistan that was the project given by Turkey to Pakistan. This Service covers a huge distance from city Saddar, Rawalpindi to Pak-Secretariat, Islamabad. This Service is very reliable and is producing consistent results as Labor force as well as students are using this govt. provided service on daily basis. It has reduced the time consumption by reducing the route. Now this bus service is being extended to more areas in Islamabad that include areas near G-13 and H-12. Work is currently being done to keep it along the Kashmir Highway.
Taxi and Rent A Car Services also available in the city.