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the capital of Pakistan.
Islamabad is situated on the Potwar Plateau near the foothills of the Himalayas, in a valley at an altitude of 550 m. The city is well sited for transportation and has a good climate, with a temperature maximum of 39°C in July and a minimum of 3°C in January. Islamabad is the center of its own capital district. Population, 100,000 (1970), an increase of 50,000 over 1965.
The decision to build a new capital for Pakistan was taken by the government in 1959, the city plan was ready in 1960, and building commenced in 1961 at a site 28 km from the former capital, Rawalpindi. Layout and construction are being handled by foreign and Pakistani architects from plans produced by the firm of the Greek architect C.A. Doxiadis. Combining the characteristics of a modern European city with local architectural features, Islamabad has a regular layout and is zoned: there are business, government, and diplomatic sections, along with residential neighborhoods with flat-roofed houses of one and two stories, districts of handicraft production and light industry, and a greenbelt area. A hotel, the Scheherazade (Italian architect G. Ponti), and the Grand National Mosque have now been built; construction of the parliament building (Danish architect A. Jacobsen) began in 1972.
Of the city’s scientific and cultural institutions, the Pakistani Atomic Research Institute, the Islamic Studies Institute, and the National Library were functioning in 1971.