Islamabad was designed and built to be a modern capital for Pakistan. It was established in 1960, on the orders of the President General Ayub Khan.
Islamabad nestles against the backdrop of the Margalla Hills at the northern end of Potohar Plateau. Its climate is healthy, relatively pollution free, plentiful in water resources and lush green. It is a modern and carefully planned residential city with wide roads and avenues, many public buildings and well-organised bazaars, markets, and shopping centres.
Islamabad is situated between the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab but Islamabad is not a part of any province. It is the Federal Territories of Pakistan which is directly governed by the Federal Government of Pakistan.
ICT is represented by two constituencies in the National Assembly, namely NA-48 and NA-49, and 50 Union Councils. The rural area consists of 23 Union Councils, comprising some 133 villages, and city area has 27 Union Councils.
The Islamabad Capital (ICT) Territory is the federal territory of Pakistan. It covers an area of 1,165.5 Square kilometre of which 906 Square kilometre is Islamabad City, The capital of Pakistan.
Islamabad Capital Territory is represented by two constituencies in the National Assembly, namely NA-48 and NA-49.
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.