What was the previous name of Islamabad?

Travel Destinations

By Mackenzie Roche

The Capital City of Pakistan

Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. It is located in the northern part of the country, in the Islamabad Capital Territory. The city is home to many government buildings, embassies, and diplomatic residences.

Early History of Islamabad

The area that is now Islamabad has been inhabited for thousands of years. The region has been ruled by various empires and dynasties, including the Mauryan Empire, the Mughal Empire, and the British Empire. The city itself, however, is relatively new, and was only established in the 1960s.

The Mughal Connection

Islamabad has a strong connection to the Mughal Empire, which ruled over much of India from the 16th to the 19th century. The Mughals built many important landmarks in the region, including the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb also built a garden in the area that is now Islamabad.

The British Rule

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region that is now Pakistan was part of British India. The British built many important infrastructure projects in the area, including the Grand Trunk Road and the Pakistan Railway. They also established the city of Rawalpindi, which is located next to Islamabad.

The Changing Names of the City

Before the establishment of Islamabad, the area was known as Rawalpindi. However, in the 1950s, it was decided that a new capital city was needed for Pakistan. The site for the new city was chosen near Rawalpindi, and construction began in the early 1960s.

The Role of Ayub Khan

The decision to build a new capital city was made by Pakistan’s president, Ayub Khan. Khan was a military dictator who ruled the country from 1958 to 1969. He believed that a new capital city would symbolize the country’s progress and modernity.

The Construction of the New Capital

The construction of Islamabad was a massive undertaking. Thousands of workers were employed to build the city’s infrastructure, including roads, buildings, and parks. The city was designed by a Greek architect named Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, who used a grid pattern for the streets and buildings.

The Decision to Rename the City

After the construction of Islamabad was completed, there was some debate about what to call the new city. Some people suggested that it should be named after Ayub Khan, while others proposed names like Jinnahabad, after Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The Announcement of the New Name

In the end, it was decided that the new capital city would be called Islamabad. The name was chosen because it means "City of Islam" in Urdu, which is Pakistan’s national language. The announcement of the new name was made in 1960.

The Significance of Islamabad

Islamabad is an important city in Pakistan’s history and politics. It is home to many important government buildings, including the Parliament House and the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It is also a popular tourist destination, with many parks, museums, and other attractions.

Conclusion: A City with a Rich History

Islamabad may be a relatively new city, but it has a rich history and a bright future. Its name reflects its significance in Pakistan’s culture and politics, and it will continue to play an important role in the country’s development for years to come.

References and Further Reading

  • "Islamabad." Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Islamabad
  • "Islamabad – A Brief History." Islamabad.net. https://www.islamabad.net/history.htm
  • "The History of Islamabad." The News International. https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/591275-history-islamabad
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Mackenzie Roche

Mackenzie Roche, part of the content operations team at TravelAsker, boasts three years of experience as a travel editor with expertise in hotel content at U.S. News & World Report. A journalism and creative writing graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, she brings a wealth of literary prowess to her work. Beyond the desk, Mackenzie embraces a balanced life, indulging in yoga, reading, beach outings, and culinary adventures across Los Angeles.

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