Location and direction
Islamabad (meaning Abode of Islam) is the capital of Pakistan. The population of the city has grown over time. The Rawalpindi / Islamabad Metropolitan Area is the third largest in Pakistan with a population of over 4.5 million inhabitants.
Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the north of the country, within the Islamabad Capital Territory. The 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 to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital.
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.
Modern, spacious and carefully planned, Islamabad is a city of wide, tree-lined streets, large houses, elegant public buildings, and well organized bazaars. The broad sidewalks are shaded by rows of flame trees, jacaranda, and hibiscus, while gardens full of roses and jasmine are a regular feature. The city is divided into eight basic zones: administrative, diplomatic enclave, residential areas, educational sectors, industrial sectors, commercial areas, rural towns, and green areas. Each sector has its own shopping area and public park. Islamabad is one of the greenest and most well-planned cities of South Asia and is considered the cleanest city in Pakistan. Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan.