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Friday, September 4, 2009

Islamabad The New Capital of Pakistan (November 29, 1966)


The President’s portrait appears on the right hand side. Secretariat Building is shown in a window shaped aperture on the left of the stamp. The National Flag in the national colouring is shown in an unfurled aspect, from left to right above the Secretariat Building in Brick Red against Bluish sky background. The word “Pakistan” in English, Urdu and Bengali appears in reverse in the lower panel. Denomination is shown at bottom left hand corner of the window shaped aperture. The word “Islamabad” is printed in the foreground below the Secretariat Building. In 15 Paisa stamp the President is shown wearing Field Marshal’s uniform in sepia while in the 50 Paisa stamp the President is in civilian dress in black.
The commemorative postage stamps will be available for sale on and from November 29, 1966 for a period of three months at all important Post Offices, Philatelic Bureaux and Counters and also at some of the Pakistan Diplomatic Missions abroad. There-after, if supplies are still available, they will be sold only at the Philatelic Bureaux and Counters To commemorate the Capital of Pakistan—Islamabad, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing two postage stamps of 15 Paisa and 50 Paisa denominations on the 29th November, 1966. Islamabad, the Capital of Pakistan, is a living reality now. It was on October 9, 1963 that the pioneer residents crossed thresholds of their new houses in the self-contained and self-sufficient neighborhoods of the world’s youngest Capital.
The city came to life almost exactly three years after the birth of the Capital Development Authority. What has been accom-plished in such a short period is a signal triumph for hard work. It is a tribute to the caliber of the people of Pakistan, for Islam-abad represents an expression of the progress, possibilities, and personality of the nation.
The need for a proper Capital had always been felt ever since the creation of Pakistan. Realizing the importance of this problem the Government of Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan addressed itself to the question of locating, planning and building the Capital. In February, 1959 a Site Selection Com-mission was appointed to consider the suitability of Karachi, as the Capital from the point of view of location, climate, avail-ability of adequate water and food supply, communications and defence: if Karachi was unsuitable, to recommend another site. After comprehensive surveys and study of all possibilities the Commission unanimously recommended the terraced table-land of the Potowar Plateau, near Rawalpindi. In June 1959 Government accepted the recommendations of the Commission and took the historic decision to build the Capital which was, later, named Islamabad—the City of Islam.
The Federal Capital Commission was formed in September 1959 to prepare a Master Plan, which was produced by October, 1960.
Covering an area of 351 square miles, Islamabad lies in an open, undulating area of Postwar Plateau. The site is a pano-ramic expanse of natural terraces and meadows, rising from 1,700 to 2,000 feet above sea level. The lofty, lush green Murree Hills offer a very pleasant setting. Nearby towards the west, lie the historic ruins of fabled Taxila, cradle of the celebrated Gandhara civilization.
Islamabad, having the most agreeable year-round climate and four definite seasons, has been located in proximity to the existing Rawalpindi city with all its services and facilities. Rawalpindi is on the main line of the Pakistan Western Railway. It is also serviced by modern airlines.
Actual construction in Islamabad started in October, 1961 on the ground where one can today see nicely laid-out neighborhoods functioning as fully developed urban units. Some of the Ministries of the Central Government have shifted and started working at the new Capital which is now a humming metropolis of over 20,000 population.
The urbanization of Islamabad is based on the principle of Dynapolis. Each sector is a self-contained township satisfy-ing all needs. There are schools separate for boys and girls, markets, shops, mosques, colleges, dispensaries, post and tele-graph offices, telephone exchange, bank, police station, bus -stands, cinemas, in each sector.
A modern city has to be so designed as to ensure smooth and swift circulation. The road network thoughtfully provides suitable communication system to serve efficiently all sections of the city as it grows and develops. The network consists of varied types of roads designed for different functions. It includes highways, principal and major roads, vehicular and feeder roads, pedestrian streets, foot-paths and green walk ways. Enough space has been provided in the right-of-way of the roads to cater for the future traffic demands. Special care has been taken to separate pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic. Within the low income-groups neighborhoods one would hardly ever need any kind of transport to move about, for everything is at a few minutes pleasant walk. The smaller communal unit is virtually road-risk free. In planning for the city, areas have been reserved for parks and open spaces, special buildings, special institutions, industrial and commercial zones, in addition to the residential areas, administrative sector and diplomatic enclave. The vast Na-tional Park would have institutions of national importance such as the Atomic Research Institute, the National University and the National Health Centre.
Islamabad offers a wholesome and dignified environment congenial to work and graceful to live in. It will not only be the nation’s Capital but would also be a source of inspiration to her people.