Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan located within the Islamabad Capital Territory. It has a population of 2 million and together with its neighbouring twin city of Rawalpindi, the greater Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants.

The name of the city, Islamabad is derived from two words, Islam and abad, meaning "City of Islam". Islam is an Arabic word which refers to the religion of Islam and -abad is a Persian place name that means inhabited place or city.

Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the northeastern part of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. 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. The city was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital. Islamabad is a well-organised international city divided into several different sectors and zones. It is regarded as the most developed city in Pakistan and is ranked as a Gamma+ world city.

Educational Sector in Islamabad

Islamabad has one of the highest literacy rates (88%) in Pakistan and has some of the most advanced educational institutes in the country. There are 16 recognized universities in Islamabad. 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. The world's second largest general university by enrollment, 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, 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 and The Millennium University College.

PLaces to Visit in Islamabad

1. Faisal Mosque

The Faisal Mosque (فیصل مسجد‎) is the largest mosque in Pakistan, located in the national capital city of Islamabad. Completed in 1986, it was designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, shaped like a desert Bedouin's tent, is an iconic symbol of Islamabad throughout the world.

2. Lake View Park

Lake View Park also known as Rawal Lake View Point or Rawal Lake Promenade is a recreational area and wildlife park located near Village Malpur Rawal Lake, on Murree Road in Islamabad, Capital Territory, Pakistan. It runs under the administration of Capital Development Authority. Some of the facilities here include:

  • Sitting Pagoda
  • Picnic Point
  • Ibex Club, Rock Climbing Rym
  • Motor Sports Ranch
  • Fancy Aviary
  • Festival Arena
  • Passenger Road Train
  • Paintball Battlefield
  • Boating Area
  • Fishing Area
  • Swimming Pool

3. Daman-e-Koh

Daman-e-Koh is a viewing point and hill top garden north of Islamabad and located in the middle of the Margalla Hills. Its name is a conjunction of two Persian words, which together means foot hills. It is about 2400ft from sea level and almost 500ft from the city of Islamabad. It is a popular destination for the residents as well as the visitors to the capital. There is a plan to construct a chairlift from Daman-e-Koh to Pir Sohawa. Monkeys are a common sight during winter. Cheetahs are frequently reported to descend from higher hills of Murree during snowfall.

4. Pir Sohawa

Pir Sohawa is a rapidly developing tourist resort located 17 kilometers from Islamabad on top of Margalla Hills. It has a 3000 plus ft elevation and located in Monal village which is geographically part of Haripur District.

5. Shakarparian

Shakarparian (also known as Shakarparian Hills) is derived from two words from the Potohari language, Shakar meaning "sweet", and Parian from Parao meaning a place to rest, or stop over - layover during long journeys. It consists of a hill and a local park in Islamabad, Pakistan. Park is located near the Zero Point Interchange. Pakistan Monument is located in the Shakarparian. Shakarparian also has a Parade ground which host the Pakistan Day Parade every year on 23 March.

6. Pakistan Monument

The Pakistan Monument in Islamabad, Pakistan, is a public national monument and national heritage museum representing the nation's four provinces and three territories. After a competition among many renowned architects, Ar. Arif Masoud’s plan was selected for the final design. The blooming flower shape of the monument represents Pakistan's progress as a rapidly developing country. The four main petals of the monument represent the four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh), while the three smaller petals represent the three territories (Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas). The Monument has been designed to reflect the culture and civilization of the country and depicts the story of the Pakistan Movement, dedicated to those who sacrificed themselves for future generations.

The monument is located at the west viewpoint of the Shakarparian Hills, and is spread over a total area of 2.8 hectares. The high location makes the monument visible from across the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

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