Islamabad became the new capital of Pakistan for several important reasons, primarily related to its strategic, geographic, and administrative advantages. Islamabad was in the heart of the country, and the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Islamabad. On 14 August 1967, 20 years after the country’s independence, Islamabad was designated as the country’s capital. The triangle city layout was created by Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis. General Ayub Khan came up with the concept.
Here is why Islamabad became the new Capital of Pakistan:
1. Geographical Location
Islamabad is situated in the northern part of Pakistan, closer to the country’s border with India. This location made it less vulnerable to potential military threats from India, especially during times of tension, such as the 1947 partition and subsequent wars.
2. Equidistant from Major Cities
Islamabad is relatively equidistant from major cities in Pakistan, making it more accessible and facilitating better connectivity across the country. This central location enhances its role as an administrative and political hub.
3. Planned Development
Islamabad was purposefully designed and developed as a modern, planned city. The architect and town planner, Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, created a city layout that included wide avenues, green spaces, and organized sectors, which were well-suited for the needs of government and administration.
4. Administrative Efficiency
The decision to establish Islamabad as the capital aimed to improve the efficiency and functioning of the government. The centralized location brought together government offices, ministries, and other administrative institutions, reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies associated with a dispersed capital.
5. Symbolic Significance
The establishment of a new capital was seen as a symbolic gesture of nation-building and modernization. Islamabad’s development represented Pakistan’s commitment to progress and a break from its colonial past
6. Environmental Considerations
Karachi, the former capital, was becoming overcrowded and faced environmental challenges such as pollution and traffic congestion. Islamabad, with its planned design and lower population density, offered a better environment for government activities.
7. Infrastructure Investment
The construction of Islamabad allowed Pakistan to invest in modern infrastructure, including roads, government buildings, and residential areas, which further supported the city’s role as the capital.
Islamabad’s location in a relatively less densely populated area made it easier to secure, which was especially important for the functioning of government institutions and diplomatic missions.
Who was Ayub Khan?
Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907, in Rehana, British India (now in Pakistan). He came from a military family, and his father and grandfather had also served in the British Indian Army.
Ayub Khan played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s politics and military establishment after the country gained independence in 1947. He held several key positions, including Chief of Army Staff, and effectively assumed control of the government through a military coup in 1958.
On October 27, 1958, Ayub Khan led a military coup that ousted President Iskander Mirza and established martial law in Pakistan. Ayub Khan became the Chief Martial Law Administrator and, shortly afterward, took on the presidency as well.
Ayub Khan’s presidency marked a significant phase in Pakistan’s history. He implemented a series of economic and administrative reforms known as the “Basic Democracies” system, aimed at decentralizing power and improving local governance. He also initiated land reforms and modernization efforts.
Ayub Khan’s foreign policy focused on strengthening Pakistan’s ties with the United States and forming alliances during the Cold War era. He aligned Pakistan with the United States and received military and economic aid.
Ayub Khan’s presidency saw the outbreak of the 1965 Indo-Pak War over the Kashmir issue. While the war did not result in significant territorial changes, it had a profound impact on both countries and ultimately led to a ceasefire and negotiations brokered by external powers.
That’s a wrap on our Why did Islamabad become the new Capital of Pakistan? Blog.
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