PAKISTAN ZINDABAD    Sep 24 , 2017
 
 
Islamabad, the capital, just half a century old

Date Published: May 18 , 2011

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan with a population of over 1.21 million located near Rawalpindi. The Rawalpindi/Islamabad Metropolitan Area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants located in the Pothohar Plateau in the north of the country. This region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Margalla pass acting as the gateway between the two regions. The city was built during the 1960s o purpose to make it the capital of Pakistan whereas Karachi was the capital city prior to this.

Islamabad is a well-organized city divided into different sectors and zones. It was ranked as a Gamma world city in 2008. The city is home to Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world. Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan and is home to the some of the top ranked universities in Pakistan, including Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the National University of Sciences and Technology. Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad is one of the world's largest universities by enrolment.

The excavations have revealed evidence of a prehistoric culture on the land. Relics and human skulls have been found dating back to 5000 BC that shows this region was home to Neolithic people who settled on the banks of the Swaan River. The Neolithic people developed small communities in the region at around 3000 BC. A Buddhist town once existed in the region. Situated at one end of the Indus Valley Civilization, the area was the first habitation of the Aryan community in Central Asia. Their civilization flourished here between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Many great armies such as those of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur and Ahmad Shah Durrani used the corridor through Islamabad on their way to invade the Indian Subcontinent.

Modern Islamabad is based on the old settlement known as Saidpur. The British took control of the region from the Sikhs in 1849 and built Asia's largest cantonment in the region.

 
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