Islamabad (/ɪsˈlɑːməˌbɑːd/; Urdu: اسلام آبادIslāmābād [ɪsˌlɑːmɑːˈbɑːd]) is the capital city of Pakistan, and is federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Built as a planned city in the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad is noted for its high standards of living,[5] safety,[6] and abundant greenery.[7]

With a population of 1,014,825 as per the 2017 Census, Islamabad is the 9th largest city in Pakistan, while the larger Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the country's third largest with a population exceeding four million.[8][9][10] The city is the political seat of Pakistan and is administered by the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation, supported by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

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.[11]

The city's master-plan, designed by Greek architect Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, divides the city into eight zones, including administrative, diplomatic enclave, residential areas, educational sectors, industrial sectors, commercial areas, and rural and green areas. The city is known for the presence of several parks and forests, including the Margalla Hills National Park and Shakarparian Park.[12] The city is home to several landmarks, including the Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia[13] and the fourth largest in the world. Other landmarks include the Pakistan's National Monument and Democracy Square.[14][15][16]

Islamabad is a beta-world city;[17] it is categorised as very high on the Human Development Index, with an HDI of 0.875, the 2nd highest in the country after Lahore. The city has the highest cost of living in Pakistan, and its population is dominated by middle and upper middle class citizens.[5][18] The city is home to twenty universities, including the Quaid-e-Azam University, PIEAS, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and NUST.[19] The city is one of the safest in Pakistan, and has an expansive surveillance system with 1,900 CCTV cameras.[6][20]


اسلام آباد
Islamabad, Pakistan Monument
Long Exposure of Blue Area Islamabad
Parliament House, Islamabad by Usman Ghani
Faisal Mosque close up (cropped)
Islamabad- Under dark clouds.jpeg
Clockwise from left: Pakistan Monument, Blue Area is the commercial centre of the city, National Assembly of Pakistan, Faisal Mosque, Margalla Hills National Park
Islamabad is located in Pakistan
Location within Pakistan
Islamabad is located in Asia
Islamabad (Asia)
Islamabad is located in Earth
Islamabad (Earth)
Coordinates: 33°43′N 73°04′E / 33.717°N 73.067°ECoordinates: 33°43′N 73°04′E / 33.717°N 73.067°E
Country Pakistan
TerritoryIslamabad Capital Territory
 • TypeParliamentary democratic republic
 • Governing bodyIslamabad Metropolitan Corporation and Capital Development Authority (CDA)
 • Chief CommissionerAftab Akbar Durrani
 • Deputy CommissionerCapt(r) Mushtaq Ahmed
 • Capital city906.5 km2 (350.0 sq mi)
 • Land897.7 km2 (346.6 sq mi)
 • Water8.8 km2 (3.4 sq mi)  0.97%
 • Urban
220.15 km2 (85.00 sq mi)
 • Rural
466.20 km2 (180.00 sq mi)
 • Parks220.15 km2 (85.00 sq mi)
Highest elevation
620 m (2,000 ft)
Lowest elevation
490 m (1,610 ft)
(2017 Census)[2]
 • Capital city1,014,825
 • Density2,089/km2 (5,410/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density4,609/km2 (11,940/sq mi)
 • Rural
 • Metro
4 million
Demonym(s)Islamabadi or Islamabadis
Time zoneUTC+5 (PKT/YEKT)
Area code(s)051
HDI0.875 (data for 2014–2015) Increase[4]
HDI Categoryvery high
Notable sports teamsIslamabad United, Islamabad Jinns


The name of the city, Islamabad, is derived from two words, Islam and abad, meaning "City of Islam". Islam is an urdu word which refers to the religion of Islam and -abad is a Persian suffix indicating an inhabited place or city.[21] The name is influenced from the Mughal name for the port city of Chittagong, previously known as Islamabad.[22]


Early history

Islamabad Capital Territory, located on the Pothohar Plateau of the Punjab region, is considered one of the earliest sites of human settlement in Asia.[23] Some of the earliest Stone Age artefacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. Rudimentary stones recovered from the terraces of the Soan River testify to the endeavours of early man in the inter-glacial period.[24] Items of pottery and utensils dating back to prehistory have been found.[25]

Excavations by Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Lone reveal evidence of a prehistoric culture in the area. Relics and human skulls have been found dating back to 5000 BCE that indicate the region was home to Neolithic peoples who settled on the banks of the Swaan River,[23] and who later developed small communities in the region around 3000 BCE.[24][26]

The Indus Valley Civilization flourished in the region between the 23rd and 18th centuries BCE. Later the area was an early settlement of the Aryan community which migrated into the region from Central Asia.[23] Many great armies such as those of Zahiruddin Babur, Genghis Khan, Timur and Ahmad Shah Durrani crossed the region during their invasions of the Indian Subcontinent.[23] In 2015-16, the Federal Department of Archaeology and Museums, with the financial support of National Fund for Cultural Heritage, carried out initial archaeological excavations in which unearthed the remains of a Buddhist stupa at Ban Faqiran, near the Shah Allah Ditta caves, which was dated to the 2nd to the 5th century CE.[27]

Gate of Pharwala Fort toward the Swaan stream

15th century Pharwala Fort beside the Swaan River

Mausoleum of Meher Ali Shah by Balochlens

The popular Shrine of Meher Ali Shah was completed immediately before construction began on the future capital city just east of the shrine.

Shah Allah Ditta caves 2

The caves at Shah Allah Ditta, on Islamabad's outskirts, were part of an ancient Buddhist monastic community

Saidpur 1

The restored village of Saidpur predates the surrounding city of Islamabad.

Construction and development

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad III
Islamabad's urban form was designed to be radically different from typical South Asian cities, and features spacious avenues in a forest-like setting.

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.[28] Traditionally, development in Pakistan was focused on the colonial centre of Karachi - a tradition which President Ayub Khan wished to abolish. Karachi was also located at the southern end of the country, and exposed to attacks from the Arabian Sea. Pakistan needed a capital that was easily accessible from all parts of the country.[29][30] Karachi, a business centre, was also considered unsuitable partly because of intervention of business interests in government affairs.[31] The newly selected location of Islamabad was closer to the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the disputed territory of Kashmir in the north.[23]

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.[29][32] A Greek firm of architects, led by 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.[33] The capital was not moved directly from Karachi to Islamabad; it was first shifted temporarily to Rawalpindi in the early 60s, and then to Islamabad when essential development work was completed in 1966.[34]

Recent history

Islamabad Metro Bus
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus was built in 2015 to connect Islamabad with neighbouring Rawalpindi.

Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most cosmopolitan and urbanised cities of Pakistan.[35] As the capital city it has hosted a number of important meetings, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit.[36]

In October 2005, the city suffered damage due to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which had a magnitude of 7.6.[37] Islamabad has experienced a series of terrorist incidents including the July 2007 Siege of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), the June 2008 Danish embassy bombing, and the September 2008 Marriott bombing.[38] In 2011, four terrorism incidents occurred in the city, killing four people, including the murder of the Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.[39]

Construction of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus, the region's first mass transit line, began in February 2014, and was completed in March 2015. The Rawalpindi Development Authority built the project at a cost of approximately Rs 24 billion, which was shared by both the Federal government and the provincial government of Punjab.[40]

Geography and climate

Faisal Masjid & Margalla Hills

Margalla Hills, Islamabad


Islamabad's verdant cityscape merges directly with the Margalla Hills

Constitution Avenue

Constitution Avenue

Ataturk Avenue - Islamabad

Islamabad's deciduous trees change colours in autumn

Islamabad is located at 33°26′N 73°02′E / 33.43°N 73.04°E at the northern edge of the Pothohar Plateau and at the foot of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad Capital Territory. Its elevation is 540 metres (1,770 ft).[41][42] The modern capital and the ancient Gakhar city of Rawalpindi form a conurbation, and are commonly referred to as the Twin Cities.[43][31]

To the northeast of the city lies the colonial era hill station of Murree, and to the north lies the Haripur District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kahuta lies on the southeast, Taxila, Wah Cantt, and Attock District to the northwest, Gujar Khan, Rawat, and Mandrah on the southeast, and the metropolis of Rawalpindi to the south and southwest. Islamabad is located 120 kilometres (75 mi) SSW of Muzaffarabad, 185 kilometres (115 mi) east of Peshawar, 295 kilometres (183 mi) NNW of Lahore, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) WSW of Srinagar, the capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The city of Islamabad expanses an area of 906 square kilometres (350 sq mi).[44] A further 2,717 square kilometres (1,049 sq mi) 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.[45]


Margalla Hills Islamabad
Islamabad's annual precipitation allows for the growth of lush forests in the city's hills.

Islamabad has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa), with five seasons: Winter (November–February), Spring (March and April), Summer (May and June), Rainy Monsoon (July and August) and Autumn (September and October). The hottest month is June, where average highs routinely exceed 38 °C (100.4 °F). The wettest month is July, with heavy rainfalls and evening thunderstorms with the possibility of cloudburst and flooding. The coolest month is January.

Islamabad's micro-climate is regulated by three artificial reservoirs: Rawal, Simli, and Khanpur Dam. The latter is located on the Haro River near the town of Khanpur, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Islamabad. Simli Dam is 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Islamabad. 220 acres (89 ha) of the city consists of Margalla Hills National Park. Loi Bher Forest is situated along the Islamabad Highway, covering an area of 1,087 acres (440 ha).[46] The highest monthly rainfall of 743.3 mm (29.26 in) was recorded during July 1995.[47] Winters generally feature dense fog in the mornings and sunny afternoons. In the city, temperatures stay mild, with snowfall over the higher-elevation points on nearby hill stations, notably Murree and Nathia Gali. The temperatures range from 13 °C (55 °F) in January to 38 °C (100 °F) in June. The highest recorded temperature was 46.6 °C (115.9 °F) on 23 June 2005 while the lowest temperature was −6 °C (21.2 °F) on 17 January 1967.[48][49] The city has recorded snowfall. On 23 July 2001, Islamabad received a record-breaking 620 mm (24 in) of rainfall in just 10 hours. It was the heaviest rainfall in Islamabad in the past 100 years and the highest rainfall in 24 hours as well.[50][51]


Islamabad Zone Map
Islamabad Zones
Zones in Islamabad
Zone Area
acres km2
I 54,958.25 222.4081
II 9,804.92 39.6791
III 50,393.01 203.9333
IV 69,814.35 282.5287
V 39,029.45 157.9466
Source: Lahore Real Estate[54]

Civic administration

The main administrative authority of the city is the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) with some help from Capital Development Authority (CDA), which oversees the planning, development, construction, and administration of the city.[55][56] Islamabad Capital Territory is divided into eight zones: Administrative Zone, Commercial District, Educational Sector, Industrial Sector, Diplomatic Enclave, Residential Areas, Rural Areas and Green Area.[57] Islamabad city is divided into five major zones: Zone I, Zone II, Zone III, Zone IV, and Zone V. Out of these, Zone IV is the largest in area.[54] 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 km × 2 km (​1 14 mi × ​1 14 mi). The sectors are lettered from A to I, and each sector is divided into four numbered sub-sectors.[58]


Series A, B, and C are still underdeveloped. The D series has seven sectors (D-11 to D-17),[54] of which only sector D-12 is completely developed. This series is located at the foot of Margalla Hills.[57] The E Sectors are named from E-7 to E-17.[54] Many foreigners and diplomatic personnel are housed in these sectors.[57] In the revised Master Plan of the city, CDA has decided to develop a park on the pattern of Fatima Jinnah Park in sector E-14. Sectors E-8 and E-9 contain the campuses of Bahria University, Air University, and the National Defence University.[59][60][61] 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.[54] 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.[57] G sectors are numbered G-5 through G-17.[54] Some important places include the Jinnah Convention Centre and Serena Hotel in G-5, the Red Mosque in G-6, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, the largest medical complex in the capital, located in G-8,[57] and the Karachi Company shopping center in G-9.

The H sectors are numbered H-8 through H-17.[54] The H sectors are mostly dedicated to educational and health institutions. National University of Sciences and Technology covers a major portion of sector H-12.[57] 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. Currently two sub-sectors of I-9 and one sub-sector of I-10 are used as industrial areas. CDA is planning to set up Islamabad Railway Station in Sector I-18 and Industrial City in sector I-17.[57] 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.[54]

Islamabad skyline
Islamabad skyline

Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area

When the master plan for Islamabad was drawn up in 1960, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, along with the adjoining areas, was to be integrated to form a large metropolitan area called Islamabad/Rawalpindi Metropolitan Area. The area would consist of the developing Islamabad, the old colonial cantonment city of Rawalpindi, and Margalla Hills National Park, including surrounding rural areas.[62][63] However, Islamabad city is part of the Islamabad Capital Territory, while Rawalpindi is part of Rawalpindi District, which is part of province of Punjab .[64]

Initially, it was proposed that the three areas would be connected by four major highways: Murree Highway, Islamabad Highway, Soan Highway, and Capital Highway. However, to date only two highways have been constructed: Kashmir Highway (the former Murree Highway) and Islamabad Highway.[63] Plans of constructing Margalla Avenue are also underway.[65] Islamabad is the hub all the governmental activities while Rawalpindi is the centre of all industrial, commercial, and military activities. The two cities are considered sister cities and are highly interdependent.[62]

Faisal Mosque in the background of Centaurus Mall

Mega Mall of Islamabad The Centaurus

Ptet ise

PTET & ISE Tower

Pak Secretariat buildings,Islamabad by Usman Ghani

Pakistan Secretariat

Crescent and Star Monument

Star and Crescent Monument near the start of Shakarparian

Glorious Sunset in Islamabad

Sunset over the Lake View Park

Hassle Bassle Islamabad

view of Blue Area, the commercial hub of the city.


Blue Area

Constitution Avenue

Constitution Avenue in Islamabad


Islamabad's architecture is a combination of modernity and old Islamic and regional traditions. The Saudi-Pak Tower is an example of the integration of modern architecture with traditional styles. The beige-coloured edifice is trimmed with blue tile works in Islamic tradition, and is one of Islamabad's tallest buildings. Other examples of intertwined Islamic and modern architecture include Pakistan Monument and Faisal Mosque. Other notable structures are: Secretariat Complex designed by Gio Ponti, Prime Minister’s secretariat based on Mughal architecture and the National Assembly by Edward Durell Stone.[32]

The murals on the inside of the large petals of Pakistan Monument are based on Islamic architecture.[66] The Shah Faisal Mosque is a fusion of contemporary architecture with a more traditional large triangular prayer hall and four minarets, designed by Vedat Dalokay, a Turkish architect and built with the help of funding provided by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.[67] The architecture of Faisal Mosque is unusual as it lacks a dome structure. It is a combination of Arabic, Turkish, and Mughal architectural traditions.[68] The Centaurus is an example of modern architecture under construction in Islamabad. The seven star hotel was designed by WS Atkins PLC.The newly built Islamabad Stock Exchange Towers is another example of modern architecture in the city.[69]


Historical population
1972 77,000—    
1981 204,000+164.9%
1998 529,180+159.4%
2017 1,014,825+91.8%
Source: [70][71]

According to 1998 census, the mother tongue of the majority of the population is Punjabi at 68%, and the major dialect is Pothohari, 15% of the population are Pashto speakers, while 18% speak other languages.[72] Similarly according to 1998 census, the total migrant population of the city is 1 million, with the majority (691,977) coming from Punjab. Around 210,614 of the migrated population came from Sindh and rest from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir. Smaller populations emigrated from Balochistan, and Gilgit–Baltistan.[73]

The majority of the population lies in the age group of 15–64 years, around 59.38%. Only 2.73% of the population is above 65 years of age; 37.90% is below the age of 15.[74] Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan, at 88%.[75] 9.8% of the population has done intermediate education (equivalent to grades 11 and 12). 10.26% have a bachelor or equivalent degree while 5.2% have a master or equivalent degree.[76] The labour force of Islamabad is 185,213[77] and the unemployment rate is 15.70%.[78]

Islam is the largest religion in the city, with 95.53% of the population Muslim. In rural areas this percentage is 98.80%. Per 1998 census in urban areas the percentage of Muslims is 97.83%. The second largest religion is Christianity, with 4.07% of the population, 0.94% in rural areas and 5.70% in the city. Hinduism accounts for 0.02% of the population, and other minorities 0.03%.[79]


Islamabad is a net contributor to the Pakistani economy, as whilst having only 0.8% of the country's population, it contributes 1% to the country's GDP.[80] Islamabad Stock Exchange, founded in 1989, is Pakistan's third largest stock exchange after Karachi Stock Exchange and Lahore Stock Exchange, and was merged to form Pakistan Stock Exchange.[81] The exchange had 118 members with 104 corporate bodies and 18 individual members. The average daily turnover of the stock exchange is over 1 million shares.[82]

According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report of 2010, Islamabad was ranked as the best place to start a business in Pakistan.[83] Islambad's businesses are Pakistan's most compliant for paying tax dues.[84] As of 2012, Islamabad LTU (Large Tax Unit) was responsible for Rs 371 billion in tax revenue, which amounts to 20% of all the revenue collected by Federal Board of Revenue.[85]

Islamabad has seen an expansion in information and communications technology with the addition two Software Technology Parks, which house numerous national and foreign technological and information technology companies. Some jobs have relocated from India to Islamabad.[86] Awami Markaz IT Park houses 36 IT companies, while Evacuee Trust house 29 companies.[87] Islamabad will see its third IT Park by 2020, which will be built with assistance from South Korea.[88]


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. A 15th-century Gakhar fort, Pharwala Fort is located near Islamabad.[89][90] Rawat Fort in the region was built by the Gakhars in 16th century and contains the grave of the Gakhar chief, Sultan Sarang Khan.[90]

Saidpur village is supposedly named after Said Khan, the son of Sarang Khan. The 500-year-old village was converted into a place of Hindu worship by a Mughal commander, Raja Man Singh. He constructed a number of small ponds: Rama kunda, Sita kunda, Lakshaman kunda, and Hanuman kunda.[91] The region is home to a small Hindu temple that is preserved, showing the presence of Hindu people in the region. The shrine of Sufi mystic Pir Meher Ali Shah is located at Golra Sharif, which has a rich cultural heritage of the pre-Islamic period. Archaeological remains of the Buddhist era can also still be found in the region.[92] The shrine of Bari Imam was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Thousands of devotees from across Pakistan attend the annual Urs of Bari Imam. The event is one of the largest religious gatherings in Islamabad. In 2004, the Urs was attended by more than 1.2 million people.[93]

The Lok Virsa Museum in Islamabad preserves a wide variety of expressions of folk and traditional cultural legacy of Pakistan. It is located near the Shakarparian hills and boasts a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, musical instruments, woodwork, utensils and folkloristic objects from the region and other parts of Pakistan.[94]


Islamabad boasts the highest literacy rate in Pakistan at 98%,[75] and has some of the most advanced educational institutes in the country.[95] A large number of public and private sector educational institutes are present here. The higher education institutes in the capital are either federally chartered or administered by private organisations and almost all of them are recognised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. High schools and colleges are either affiliated with the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education or with the UK universities education boards, O/A Levels, or IGCSE. According to Academy of Educational Planning and Management's report, in 2009 there were a total of 913 recognised institutions in Islamabad (31 pre-primary, 2 religious, 367 primary, 162 middle, 250 high, 75 higher secondary and intermediate colleges, and 26 degree colleges).[96] There are seven teacher training institutes in Islamabad with a total enrolment of 604,633 students and 499 faculty.[96]

The Gender Parity Index in Islamabad is 0.93 compared to the 0.95 national average. There are 178 boys only institutes, 175 girls only, and 551 mixed institutes in Islamabad.[96] Total enrolment of students in all categories is 267,992; 138,272 for boys and 129,720 for girls.[96] There are 16 recognised universities in Islamabad with a total enrolment of 372,974 students and 30,144 teachers.[96] Most of the top ranked universities; National University of Sciences and Technology, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences, also have their headquarters in the capital.[19] The world's second largest general university by enrolment, Allama Iqbal Open University is located in Islamabad for distance education. Other universities include Air University, Bahria University, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, Hamdard University, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Capital University of Science & Technology, National Defence University, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, National University of Modern Languages, Iqra University, International Islamic University, Virtual University of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah University The University of Lahore, Abasyn University and The Millennium University College.

Health care

Islamabad has the lowest rate of infant mortality in the country at 38 deaths per thousand compared to the national average of 78 deaths per thousand.[97] Islamabad has both public and private medical centres. The largest hospital in Islamabad is Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital. It was established in 1985 as a teaching and doctor training institute. PIMS functions as a National Reference Center and provides specialised diagnostic and curative services.[98] The hospital has 30 major medical departments.[99] PIMS is divided into five administrative branches. Islamabad Hospital is the major component with a 592-bed facility and 22 medical and surgical specialties.[100]

The Children's Hospital is a 230-bed hospital completed in 1985. It contains six major facilities: Surgical and Allied Specialties, Medical and Allied Specialties, Diagnostic Facilities, Operation Theatre, Critical Care (NICU, PICU, Isolation & Accident Emergency), and a Blood Bank.[101] The Maternal and Child Health Care Center is a training institute with an attached hospital of 125 beds offering different clinical and operational services.[102] PIMS consists of five academic institutes: Quaid-e-Azam Postgraduate Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Medical Technology, School of Nursing, and Mother and Child Health Center.[103]

PAEC General Hospital and teaching institute, established in 2006, is affiliated with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.[104] The hospital consists of a 100-bed facility[104] and 10 major departments: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatric, General Medicine, General Surgery, Intensive Care Unit/Coronary Care Unit, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Radiology, and Dental Department.[105] Shifa International Hospital is a teaching hospital in Islamabad that was founded in 1987 and became a public company in 1989. The hospital has 70 qualified consultants in almost all specialties, 150 IPD beds and OPD facilities in 35 different specialisations.[106] According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics of the Government of Pakistan, in 2008 there were 12 hospitals, 76 dispensaries, and five maternity and child welfare centers in the city with a total of 5,158 beds.[107]


The Red Metro Bus in Blue Area
Islamabad Metro Bus


Islamabad is connected to major destinations around the world through Islamabad International Airport. The airport is the largest in Pakistan and is located outside Islamabad in Fateh Jang.

Public transport

The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus is a 24 km (14.9 mi) 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. This service covers a huge distance from city Saddar, Rawalpindi to Pak-Secretariat, Islamabad. This service is very reliable and consistent, and the labor force as well as students are using this government provided service on a 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.[108]

Private transport

People use private transport like taxis, Careem and Uber for local journeys. In March, 2016, Careem became functional in Islamabad and Rawalpindi with taxi services.


M-2 Motorway is 367 km (228 mi) long and connect Islamabad and Lahore.[109] M-1 Motorway connects Islamabad with Peshawar and is 155 km (96 mi) long.[109] Islamabad is linked to Rawalpindi through the Faizabad Interchange, which has a daily traffic volume of about 48,000 vehicles.[110]


Islamabad golf Club
Islamabad Golf Club
Jinnah Sports Stadium
Jinnah Sports Stadium

Islamabad has a multipurpose sports complex opposite Aabpara. It includes Liaquat Gymnasium for indoor games, Mushaf Squash Complex and Jinnah Stadium for outdoor games, which is a venue for regular national and international events. 2004 SAF Games were held in the stadium.

There is another multipurpose sports complex in the F6 Markaz. It has tennis courts, a basketball court with fibre-glass boards and a Futsal ground which introduced artificial turf to the people of Islamabad.

Major sports in the city include cricket, football, squash, hockey, table tennis, rugby and boxing.[111] The city is home to Islamabad United, which won the first ever Pakistan Super League in 2016,[112] and Islamabad All Stars, which participates in the Super Kabaddi League.

Islamabad also has various rock climbing spots in the Margalla Hills.[113]

The Pakistan Sports Complex has three swimming pools for children. These facilities attract a large gathering on weekends.[114]

Recreation Places in Islamabad

Faisal Mosque

Located in Islamabad, Pakistan, the Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest mosque in the world. Built in the year 1986, it was named after the late king of Saudi Arabia, Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz, who backed and financed the construction.[115]

Islamabad - Faisal Mosque
Faisal Mosque

Trail 3

Trail 3 Margalla Hills Islamabad
Trail 3 Islamabad

The most famous and old hiking track of Islamabad. Trail 3. It starts from the Margalla road sector F-6. The trail is exhausting to some extent, due to steep hills. The course will lead you to the which goes up to the Viewpoint and is about a 30 - 50 min. track. After the Viewpoint you can continue on for another easy-going 45 - 60 mins and reach the Pir Sohawa, where you can choose from 2 restaurants for food, The Monal and La Montana. In totality, it is approximately one hour thirty minute walk.[116]

Located in Islamabad, the Pakistan National Monument is a representation of the four provinces and three territories of the nation. Designed by the famous architect, Arif Masood, this blooming flower shaped structure reflects the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.[117]

The Monument - 5
Pakistan Monument

Twin towns and sister cities

See also


  1. ^ "CDA Facts & Figures".
  3. ^ "Population Results" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b Hetland, Atle (2014-03-23). "Islamabad — a city only for the rich?". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  6. ^ a b "Safe City Project gets operational: Islooites promised safety – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  7. ^ Shirley, Peter; Moughtin, J. C. (2006-08-11). Urban Design: Green Dimensions. Routledge. ISBN 9781136350559.
  8. ^ "Population size and growth of major cities" (PDF). Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 1998.
  9. ^ Frantzeskakis, J. M. "Islamabad, a town planning example for a sustainable city" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Islamabad's population touches two-million mark". The Dawn News. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
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External links

2019 Pakistan Super League

2019 Pakistan Super League (also known as PSL 4 or for sponsorship reasons HBL PSL 2019) was the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League, a franchise Twenty20 cricket league which was established by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2015. The tournament took place from 14 February to 17 March 2019.In the championship game, Quetta Gladiators defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 8 wickets in Karachi to win the title for the first time. Mohammad Hasnain of Quetta was named the Man of the Match of the Final. Shane Watson, also of Quetta, was awarded the Player of the Tournament award and the leading run scorer award with a total of 435 runs in the tournament. Hasan Ali of Peshawar was awarded the leading wicket taker award with a total of 25 wickets.

Administrative units of Pakistan

The administrative units of Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان کی انتظامی اکائیاں‎) consist of four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh), two autonomous territories (Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan) and one federal territory (Islamabad Capital Territory). Each province and territory is subdivided into divisions, which are further subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into tehsils, or taluka, which are further subdivided into union councils.

Air Headquarters (Pakistan Air Force)

Air Headquarters (AHQ) is the Headquarters of Pakistan Air Force, located in Islamabad. Initially it was established at Peshawar on 15 August 1947. Later it was moved to Karachi on 1 June 1948 and back to Peshawar in 1960. In 1983 construction of Air headquarters was started at Islamabad after it was decided to have all the armed forces headquarters in the capital city. On 1 August 2005 the headquarters was moved from Chaklala, Rawalpindi to Islamabad. During the construction of the headquarters building at Islamabad the headquarters offices were housed at PAF base Chaklala.


Anantnag (/ə'nʌntna:g/ or /-nɑːg/ listen ; Kashmiri: anantnāg; lit. "Countless springs") is a city and a municipality, capital of the Anantnag district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Anantnag is located at a distance of 53 kilometres (33 miles) from the state's capital Srinagar. It is the third largest city in Jammu and Kashmir after Srinagar and Jammu with an urban agglomerate population of more than 200,000 and municipal limit population over 100,000.

Bahria University

Bahria University (Urdu: جامعہ بحریہ‎) or BU, is a public research university primarily located in Islamabad, Pakistan. The university maintains campuses in Karachi and Lahore.

Established by the Pakistan Navy in 2000, its status is granted as Semi-Government. It offers programmes in undergraduate, post-graduate, and doctoral studies. Its research is directed towards the development of engineering, philosophy, natural, social, and medical sciences. Bahria is a comprehensive university having multidisciplinary programs that includes Health Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Computer Sciences, Management Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Psychology and Maritime Studies. The university is one of the top institution of higher learning in the country and secured 23rd in among country's top thirty and most notable universities in "general category" by the HEC, as of 2016. The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities of the United Kingdom.The university research institutes offer scientific research in the development of medical, environmental, natural sciences as well as in the engineering and philosophy.

Bahria University is a founder member of the Education Futures Collaboration charity, an international network of educators working on strategies to bridge the research/practice/policy making divide. See

COMSATS University Islamabad

The COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), formerly known as COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), is a public university in Pakistan. It is a multi-campus university with its principal seat located in Islamabad.


Chittagong (), officially known as Chattogram, is a major coastal city and financial centre in southeastern Bangladesh. The city has a population of more than 2.5 million while the metropolitan area had a population of 4,009,423 in 2011, making it the second-largest city in the country. It is the capital of an eponymous District and Division. The city is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River between the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bay of Bengal. Much of Chittagong Division is located within the ecological Indo-Burma zone on the boundary of the India Plate and Burma Plate. This makes Chittagong the crossroads of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

The natural harbour of Chittagong is an ancient gateway to the region of Bengal. It was noted as one of the largest Eastern ports by the Roman geographer Ptolemy in the 1st century. As part of the rich seafaring tradition of the Bengali people, coastal Chittagong was settled and ruled by different regional kingdoms. Arab traders saw well-developed currency, banking and shipping in Chittagong during the 9th century. Early cosmopolitan Muslims established dominance over the port as an entrepôt of maritime trade, while Arakan, Bengal and Tripura competed for control of the wider hinterland. Muslim conquest took place in the 14th century. Chittagong became the principal port of the Bengal Sultanate. It was used by several leading medieval global explorers, including Ibn Battuta and Niccolò de' Conti. Later, Mrauk U, with assistance from Portuguese trading posts, gained control of the area. The Mughal conquest of Chittagong reestablished Bengali control and ushered an era of stability and trade. The city was renamed as Islamabad. This diverse history is reflected in the rural Chittagonian dialect of Bengali, which has a nearly 50% Arabic-origin vocabulary, as well as Persian and Portuguese loanwords.Ceded to the British East India Company in 1760, Chittagong became the chief port of Eastern Bengal and Assam under the British Raj, as well as a hub of railways. A notable anti-colonial uprising took place in 1930. It was an important base for Allied forces during the Burma Campaign in World War II. Rapid industrialization followed the war, as Chittagong became part of East Pakistan. During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, Chittagong was site of the country's declaration of independence.

Modern Chittagong is an important economic hub in South Asia. It is home to the Chittagong Stock Exchange and many of Bangladesh's oldest and largest companies. The Port of Chittagong is the largest international seaport on the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest base of the Bangladesh Navy. Chittagong is reputed as a relatively clean city, but still confronts substantial logistical and socioeconomic problems. The mountainous hinterland of Chittagong is the most biodiverse region in Bangladesh, with 2000 endemic plants and various critically endangered wildlife.

Golra Sharif Junction railway station

Golra Sharif Junction railway station (Urdu and Punjabi: گولڑہ شریف جنکشن ریلوے اسٹیشن) is located on Golra road in Islamabad, The federal capital of the Pakistan. There is also Golra Sharif Railway Museum at this station.

The station lies on the main line of the Pakistan Railways which connects the rest of the country in the south and Peshawar in the north. More than 20 trains pass through this station every day. It is situated southwest of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, at the altitude of 1994 feet. Its magnificent building has Victorian architecture and composed of yellow stone masonry comprises five hall-like rooms. The station that once linked Peshawar, Kohat, Havelian and Multan now enjoys more importance due to its museum. The station was established in 1882 and upgraded as a junction in 1912. It was the logistics artery of the British during the Afghan military campaigns at the turn of the twentieth century. It has since become an important trade route which protrudes into Afghanistan through the famous Khyber Pass.

Islamabad Capital Territory

Islamabad Capital Territory (Urdu: وفاقی دارالحکومت‎) is the one and only federal territory of Pakistan. The territory is bounded by Punjab on the south, west and east and by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the north. The territory includes Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan, which covers 906 km2 (349.8 mi2) out of the total of 1165.5 km2 (450 mi2). The territory is represented in the National Assembly constituencies NA-52, NA-53 and NA-54.

Islamabad International Airport

Islamabad International Airport (Urdu: اسلامآباد بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ‎); IATA: ISB, ICAO: OPIS) is the main international airport serving the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area and suburbs. It is Pakistan's 2nd largest airport, after Karachi, having served 4,777,958 passengers in the year of 2017-2018. It is Pakistan's second greenfield airport, after Sialkot International Airport and is built 20 km outside the twin cities near the Kashmir Highway and Motorway Interchange.

The airport commenced full operations on 3 May 2018, replacing the defunct Benazir Bhutto International Airport which now forms part of the PAF Base Nur Khan. It is the largest airport in Pakistan in terms of passenger capacity, capable of serving 15 million passengers every year in its first phase. Further planned expansions will allow it to serve up to 25 million passengers a year. The terminal includes 15 gates with ten remote gates, a four-star hotel, duty-free shops, food court and 42 immigration counters. Additionally, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority is acquiring 2,833 acres (11.46 sq km / 4.42 sq mi) of land to build a third runway at the airport. Furthermore, it is also the first and the only airport in Pakistan capable of handling the Airbus A380 and is expected to become a major hub serving Northern Pakistan.

Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing

The Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing occurred on the night of 20 September 2008, when a dump truck filled with explosives was detonated in front of the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, killing at least 54 people, injuring at least 266 and leaving a 60 ft (20 m) wide, 20 ft (6 m) deep crater outside the hotel. The majority of the casualties were Pakistanis; at least five foreign nationals were also killed and fifteen others reported injured. The attack occurred only hours after President Asif Ali Zardari made his first speech to the Pakistani parliament.

The Marriott was the most prestigious hotel in the capital, and was located near government buildings, diplomatic missions, embassies and high commissions.During the investigation, three suspected terrorists were arrested by the Pakistani police. They were suspected of having facilitated the suicide bomber. However later they were acquitted of all charges as no evidence was ever presented against them.

A few months after the hotel's bombing the Government of Pakistan had re-constructed it, and the Islamabad Marriott reopened officially on 28 December 2008.

Islamabad United

Islamabad United (Urdu: اسلام‌آباد یونائیٹڈ‎) is a Pakistani professional Twenty20 franchise cricket team that competes in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The team’s nickname is IU. Islamabad United are the inaugural champions of the Pakistan Super League. The team is nominally based in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan and was formed in 2015 to compete in the first season of the Pakistan Super League. The franchise is owned by Leonine Global Investments through its sports entity Leonine Global Sports, owned by Amna Naqvi and Ali Naqvi. The franchise won the first PSL title, defeating Quetta Gladiators in the final. Shoaib Naveed is the Chief Operating Officer of the franchise while Rehan Ul Haq is its General Manager. The franchise won their second title in the third season of the PSL, by defeating Peshawar Zalmi in the final by 3 wickets, and is currently the most successful franchise in the Pakistan Super League history with the most title wins (2).

The team's homeground is the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The team is currently coached by former Australian player Dean Jones. Mohammad Sami is the current captain and Shadab Khan is the vice captain. The team director is former Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis while Saeed Ajmal is spin bowling coach.The leading run-scorer of the team is Luke Ronchi, while Mohammad Sami is the leading wicket-taker.

Islamabad railway station

Islamabad railway station (Urdu: اسلام آباد ریلوے اسٹیشن‎) (formerly Margalla railway station) is located in sector I-9 Islamabad, Capital Territory, Pakistan. The station appears as Margala on the Pakistan Railways website.

National Defence University, Pakistan

The National Defence University (Urdu: نیشنل ڈیفنس یونیورسٹی‎) or NDU, is a publicly funded military institution located in Islamabad, Pakistan dedicated to the study and research in military science, geo-strategy and international relations.Founded in 1970 as the staff college, it gained university status in 2007 and it is jointly funded by the Education Commission and the Defence Ministry.The NDU provides comprehensive and critical learning in formulating and developing the defence strategy as well national security understanding to joint military leadership of Pakistani military. Chartered by the President of Pakistan as its Chancellor and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, its current president is Lieutenant-General Majid Ehsan.The university's mission is to impart higher education in policy and strategy formulation at various tier with emphasis on national security and defence, and act as a national think tank.

Naval Headquarters (Pakistan Navy)

Naval Headquarters (NHQ) is the headquarters of Pakistan Navy established in 1947 in Karachi. On 15 March 1975, it was moved to Islamabad. Initially it was housed in a government secretariat building of sector G-6 and was later shifted to sector E-8.

Pakistan Super League

Pakistan Super League (Urdu: پاکستان سپر لیگ‎; PSL) is a Twenty20 cricket league, founded in Lahore on 9 September 2015 with five teams and now comprises six teams. Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, the league is a single entity in which each franchise is owned and controlled by investors.

The commercial rights to the initial franchises were sold for US$93 million for a span of 10 years in December 2015. The market value of PSL in 2017 was up to US$300 million, according to Arif Habib.The PSL season runs between the months of February and March, with each team playing matches in double round robin format; the top four teams with the best record qualify for the playoffs and culminates in the championship game, the PSL Cup Final. The league is directed out of the Pakistan Cricket Board head office in Lahore. Due to security reasons, the first season was played entirely in the United Arab Emirates. The inaugural champions were Islamabad United. Peshawar Zalmi were the 2017 PSL Champions, having defeated Quetta Gladiators in Lahore on 5 March 2017. Islamabad United were the 2018 PSL champions, beating Peshawar Zalmi on the 25th of March 2018. The current champions are Quetta Gladiators, who won the title on 17 March 2019 in Karachi.

President of Pakistan

The President of Pakistan (Urdu: صدر مملکت پاکستان‎ — Ṣadr-e Mumlikat-e Pākistān, Urdu pronunciation: [ˌsəd̪ˈr-eː ˈmʊm.lɪˌkət̪-e pɑː.kɪs.t̪ɑːn]), is the head of state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the civilian Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces, per the Constitution of Pakistan. The office-holder represents the "unity of the Republic". The current President of Pakistan is Arif Alvi.

The President is kept informed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on all matters of internal and foreign policy, as well as all legislative proposals. The Constitution vests the President with the powers of granting pardons, reprieves, and the control of the military; however, all appointments at higher commands of the military must be made by the President on a "required and necessary" basis, upon consultation and approval from the Prime Minister. In addition, the Constitution prohibits the President from exercising the authority of running the government.The president is indirectly elected by the Parliament of Pakistan through the Electoral College for a five-year term. The Constitution requires the President to be a "Muslim of not less than forty five (45) years of age". The President resides in an estate in Islamabad known as Aiwan-e-Sadar (Presidential Palace). There have been a total of 13 Presidents. In the absence of the President, the Senate Chairman takes over as the Acting President until the President resumes office, or the election for the next President is held.

Quaid-i-Azam University

Quaid-i-Azam University (Urdu: جامعہ قائداعظم‎; commonly referred to as QAU) is a public research university in Islamabad, Pakistan.Founded as the University of Islamabad in 1967, it was initially dedicated to the study of postgraduate education but expanded through the 1980s to an interdisciplinary university offering undergraduate and postgraduate education. The university has, as of 2015, grown into the largest varsity in Islamabad with a total enrollment exceeding 13,000 students. The university is on a 1700 acres (or 6.9 km²) campus on the foothills of the Margalla.Divided into four faculties and nine affiliated research institutes, QAU is among Pakistan's largest and highest ranked public universities. Currently, it is ranked between 551-560 in the world and top 133 in Asia by the QS World University Rankings while its regional publications ranked QAU among 120 in Asia in 2013. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked QAU between 401-500 globally and top 79 in Asia in 2018.The university is nationally known for its research, technological advancement, and intellectual interaction with international institutes, including the United Nations, University of Tokyo and the ICTP. It is one of the most popular universities in the country and counts several public figures and intellectuals among its current and former faculty, researchers, or alumni since its establishment. They include Maleeha Lodhi, Nasim Zehra, Shamshad Akhtar, Suhail Zubairy, Farzana Aslam, Tasneem Zehra and Salma Zahid. The university is currently led by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali.


Rawalpindi ( or ; Punjabi, Urdu: راولپِنڈى‎, Rāwalpiṇḍī), commonly known as Pindi (Punjabi: پِنڈی), is a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Rawalpindi is adjacent to Pakistan's capital of Islamabad, and the two are jointly known as the "twin cities" on account of strong social and economic links between the cities. Rawalpindi is the fourth-largest city in Pakistan by population, while the larger Islamabad Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the country's third-largest metropolitan area.

Rawalpindi is located on the Pothohar Plateau, known for its ancient Buddhist heritage, especially in the neighbouring town of Taxila - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was destroyed during the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni before being taken over by Gakhars in 1493. In 1765, the ruling Gakhars were defeated as the city came under Sikh rule, and eventually became a major city within the Sikh Empire based in Lahore. The city was conquered by the British Raj in 1849, and in 1851 became the largest garrison town for the British Indian Army. Following the partition of British India in 1947, the city became home to the headquarters of Pakistan Army hence retaining its status as a major military city.Construction of Pakistan's new purpose-built national capital city of Islamabad in 1961 led to greater investment in the city, as well as a brief stint as the country's capital immediately before completion of Islamabad. Modern Rawalpindi is socially and economically intertwined with Islamabad, and the greater metropolitan area. The city is also home to numerous suburban housing developments that serve as bedroom-communities for workers in Islamabad. As home of Benazir Bhutto International Airport, and with connections to the M-1 and M-2 motorways, Rawalpindi is a major logistics and transportation centre for northern Pakistan. The city is also home to historic havelis and temples, and serves as a hub for tourists visiting Rohtas Fort, Azad Kashmir, Taxila and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Climate data for Islamabad (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.1
Average high °C (°F) 17.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.6
Record low °C (°F) −6.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 56.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 195.7 187.1 202.3 252.4 311.9 300.1 264.4 250.7 262.2 275.5 247.9 195.6 2,945.8
Source #1: NOAA (normals)[52]
Source #2: PMD (extremes)[53]

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