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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Silver Jubilee of Islamabad - 1960-1985 November 30, 1985

Islamabad, the Capital of Pakistan, comes of age this year. Twenty five years ago, the Government of Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan, after establishing the importance of locating, planning and building the Federal Capital gave its approval and unanimously recommended the terraced table land of the Potohar Plateau near Rawalpindi as the most suitable site. The location was studied from the point of view of climate, availability of area and defence in addition to its natural scenic beauty before it was approved.
On October 9, 1963 the pioneer residents crossed threshold of their new houses in self-contained and self sufficient neighbour-hood of one of the world\'s most well planned new Capitals.
The city came to life almost exactly three years after the birth of the Capital Development Authority. It is a tribute to the national spirit of the people of Pakistan, for Islamabad is an express-ion of the progress, possibilities and personality of the nation. In a span of fifteen years this city of Islamabad is pulsating with life and its activities, has a population of 0.28 million, and beautiful architectural structures like Faisal Mosque, Parliament Building, Presidency, Secretariat Buildings to name only a few.
Covering an area of 960 square kilometres Islamabad lies in an open undulating area of Potohar Plateau. The site is a panoramic expanse of natural terraces and meadows rising from 518 to 610 metres. The lush green hills of Margalla range and distant hilts of Murree offer a very pleasant setting. Nearby towards the West, lies the historic ruin of fabled Taxila, cradle of the celebrated Gandhara civilisation.
Islamabad (having the most agreeable year round climate and four definite seasons) benefited from its close proximity to Rawalpindi city with its services and facilities during Islamabad\'s early years. During the past 25 years it has developed its own independent communication infrastructure and facilities freeing its twin sister of the burden of dependency.
Actual construction in Islamabad started in October 1961 on the ground with great attention to good planning to cater to its immediate needs & future requirements. The work on the first phase of the master plan and its projections over two decades has been completed successfully inspite of wars, upheavals and political confusion. All Ministries of the Central Government and other important Government offices are now functioning from Islamabad. Houses for all categories of the Central Government employees have been constructed. In addition, beautifully architectured private houses have come up, and their number is constantly increasing. Demand and desire to own residential house in Islamabad has grown rapidly. Today there are over 210 co-operative housing societies with 72000 strong membership preparing themselves to launch housing schemes of wide & diverse magnitude emphasising the success story of a city conceived and planned with great care and concern.
The urbanisation of Islamabad is based on the principle of Dynapolis the "Dynamic City". Each Sector is a self contained township satisfying all needs. There are schools, separate for boys and girls, shopping centres, markets, mosques, colleges, dispensaries, Post and Telegraph offices, telephone exchanges, banks, police posts, bus stands, parks, play fields and green areas in each sector. In the past 25 years 18 sectors have been developed.
A modern city is designed to ensure smooth and swift communication. The road network in Islamabad provides most effective communication system to serve all sectors of the city. The net work consists of varied type of roads made for different functions, such as highways, principal roads, service roads, major roads, vehicular roads and feeder roads etc. Islamabad will be connected to other cities of Pakistan through four highways out of which two have been constructed and work on other two is in progress. Cycle tracks, pedestrian streets and footpaths have been constructed to keep, vehicular traffic separate from pedestrian traffic.
Within the low income group neighbourhoods essential civic amenities have been made available at a few minutes\' walking distance thus eliminating the need for any kind of transport, Care has been taken to retain the natural topography by design-ing road profile to conform to the environment. Future road net-work has been provided with effective drainage system.
The crescent like Margalla Hills backdrop and pronounced undulating terrain of the valley studded with some very striking topographical features have been intelligently and imaginatively used in landscaping patterns of Islamabad. Development of a number of recreational spots, places of tourist interest and popular resorts has been another main feature of past 25 years. Shakarparian Hills, Rose and Jasmine Gardens, Rawal Lake water fall, Margalla National Park, Daman-i-Koh are but a small number of them.
Alongside parks and gardens, facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and athletics; have been provided. National Athletic Area or the Sports Complex abounds in facilities of international level where National and International games take place.
Islamabad offers a wholesome and dignified environment congenial to work and graceful to live in.
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Islamabad, Pakistan Post Office is issuing one postage stamp of Rs. 3/- value on November 30, 1985.