Construction of the city began in the 1960s to replace Karachi as the capital of Pakistan. It was chosen over the port city of Karachi which lies in the southern region of Pakistan due to its central location, ideal climate, and because it was closer to the Pakistani Army headquarters in Rawalpindi. The city is located in the Federal Capital Territory in the north-eastern region of the country, between the Margalla Hills National Park and Rawalpindi District. It lies on the Pothohar Plateau. Islamabad, together with Rawalpindi and some other smaller towns like Taxila and Muree form the larger Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area.

The city has a population of 1,014,825 inhabitants according to a 2017 census, making it the ninth largest city in the country. The larger metropolitan area is home to more than four million people, and it is Pakistan’s third largest metropolitan region. The city is mostly inhabited by upper-middle and middle-class families. Islam is the dominant religion in Islamabad, with 95.53% of the people being Muslim. Christians account for 4.07% while Hindus constitute 0.02% of the population. 59.38% of the inhabitants are between 15 and 64 years of age, and only 2.73% are more than 65 years old. The rate of literacy in Islamabad is 88%.

Islamabad is renowned for its parks, forests, and landmarks. Faisal Mosque, one of its key landmarks, is the fourth largest in the world and the largest in South Asia. Pakistan has five world heritage sites, among them the ancient Taxila town which is part of the Islamabad Metropolitan region. The town is one of the top five attractions in the country. Some of the parks located in the city include Islamabad Zoo, Lake View Park, Shakar Parian National Park, and Fatima Jinnah Park. Other attractions in the city include museums, Rawal Lake, the nearby Margalla hills, and monuments such as Democracy Square and the Pakistan Monument.

The city has a Monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. In the Köppen climate classification, it is denoted as Cwa. The climate is controlled by three artificial reservoirs located in the Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metro area. Islamabad experiences five seasons namely, summer, rainy Monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring. Winter occurs between November and February, with January being the coldest month of the year. Winters in the city feature thick fog during mornings and sunshine in the afternoons. Temperatures are highest in June, and during this month, mean daily temperatures may occasionally exceed 38 0C. July is the wettest month, with thunderstorms accompanying heavy rainfall in the evenings. Sometimes there may also be cloudbursts and flooding.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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