Poised at 540m, in the backdrop of lush green Margalla Hills, Islamabad – the capital city of Pakistan – is a well planned modern city. The development of Islamabad city was planned by a Greek firm based on a grid scheme triangular in shape with the apex towards the Hills. 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. Each sector in the city has well paved and wide tree-lined streets, elegant public buildings and larges houses; each sector has its own well–organized residences, shopping centre, parks and other facilities. Because of its easy-to-navigate sectors, Islamabad is ranked as Gamma + city.
When Pakistan gained independence, Karachi was made the capital of Pakistan. However, the requirement of a new location was deemed necessary because of the location of the existing port of Karachi. A commission was formed to select a suitable location with emphasis on climate, access, logistics and defence requirements along with other attributes. The land making up today’s capital city was finally chosen because of its location on the crossroads making it easily accessible from all corners of the country – from Karachi to Khunjerab and from Khyber to Wagah border.
The capital city has several tourist attractions and is surrounded by some of the major tourist destinations of the country. The megastructures of Islamabad feature architectural work blended with modernity, old Islamic and regional traditions. The well preserved ethnological museum at Lok Virsa boasts as a model of cultures thriving across Pakistan. Daman-e-Koh at halfway up the Margalla Hills provides the best bird’s eye view of Islamabad, particularly of the Arabian Bedouin tent-like Faisal mosque. Shakarparian hills are yet another best viewpoint to enjoy scenic views of Islamabad city, explore nearby Pakistan monument and the annexing wax museum. Moreover, the newly constructed park at Rawal Lake has great attractions for the visitors. The Nurpur village, the shrine of Syed Abdul Latif Shah, the Holy Man’s Cave where saints lived and meditated for 12 years, and the Shah Alla Ditta caves are the hidden treasures of the capital city.