Islamabad celebrates 56 years as Pakistan`s capital
By Zahid Rahim* and Srimal Fernando Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
Pakistan is famous in South Asia for its great geographical settings, special historical reasons and for its unique political culture. Pakistan culture is a mixed bowl of a number of different influencing societies, nationalities, ethnic traditions and reflects the flavors of the region. Pakistan, being at the crossroads of many cultures, is a land of history, filled with the memory of many told and untold events. Even today the ongoing struggle to bring peace and stability, rebuilding the war-torn nation and the continuous insurgent attacks receives heavy press coverage around the world. With all this turbulences this remarkable country, Pakistan looks towards a wealthy future in which a new era of developments will play a key role. Pakistan has emerged as a unique, dynamic tourist destination preserving its beautiful surroundings, spectacular architecture and its cultural values. Every city or town has a different story; Pakistan`s capital city Islamabad has a vastly different historic narratives than many other places in Pakistan. As the most populous city of Pakistan, Islamabad is a cosmopolitan capital with the finest skylines.
The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan, located in the national capital city of Islamabad
It is a bustling place where ancient culture and modern urban life co-exist together. This bustling affluent town with glitzy shopping malls, boutiques and colorful markets, houses the intellectual elite as well as the seat of the government. The roots of the historical events that changed the modern city of Islamabad are fresh in the memories of many Pakistanis. The capital gets its name from two words, Islam and abad, meaning "City of Islam". In 1960 General Yahiya Khan and General Ayub Khan made great contributions towards establishing Islamabad as the capital city of the nation. In essence, the management of Islamabad Capital Development Authority (CDA) oversees the capital’s day-to-day activities. Islamabad has transformed from a city crowded with buildings to a clean eco- friendly City in a Garden. The capital city is a very pleasant place to stay in and travel around. The growth and achievements of the tourism sector in Islamabad are outstanding. Islamabad International Airport is a major stopover point for many international airlines and a gateway to Pakistan. These aviation hubs serve as a base to Pakistan Air Airlines, the flag carrier of the country.
Today this incredible cosmopolitan city is a bustling, rapidly developing place. The natural and historical attractions of Islamabad appeal to many visitors from all parts of the world. Among its attractions is the Faisal Mosque designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay and is one of the most recognizable places to visit in the city. The Parliament of Pakistan, officially termed the Majlis-e-Shoora, Saudi-Pak tower the high-rise tower, Islamabad Stock Exchange are the two other buildings of importance in the city. The capital city is also modern in every sense of the word.
Islamabad is a city that is developing rapidly where modern buildings are rising beside the 19th century buildings. As the most populous cosmopolitan city of Pakistan, the capital city boasts a wide variety of interesting places such as Jinnah convention center, near Abpara, having a capacity of almost 3000. Islamabad’s efficient, fast and comfortable transport system has already achieved measurable improvements. The city has several paved highways to reinforce the Islamabad road system. Islamabad has diplomatic and consular offices in many locations in the city. It also has world famous educational institutions like Quaid-e-azam University, Allama Iqbal Open University and International Islamic University.
Welcomed by the hospitality of the smiling people and its remarkable history and unrivalled settings, Islamabad is a prime destination for travellers from all corners of the world.
*Mr Zahid Rahim is a LL.M. (Master of Laws) student at the South Asian University