Changing face of Islamabad

I got my hand on a beautiful rendering by an islamabadiite ….!

Back in mid sixties and till past seventies, there was so much to boast about Islamabad while describing it to our relatives back in the village that after each summer holidays one or the other ‘fascinated’ cousin would tag along with us on our return ‘home’ at the end of the summer school holidays.

We used to rent a bicycle from the shop in G-7 for the whole day and take the cousin from the village to a ‘guided tour’ of ‘my city’. It would invariably start from the Pakistan Secretariat (very proud for my father working there!) and it always gave us such pleasure to see the awestricken look on his face on seeing the blue tiled watercourses with mini cascades.

Then the next stop would be Saidpur village to show him the clay train that was made by a potter who was so thrilled when he saw a train for the first time in his life that he put all his skills to work to create that ‘masterpiece’. Again the visit always proved ‘very satisfactory’ to see the excitement on the face of the cousin from the village!

While back tracking it always gave us add pleasure to feel important while taking him to visit the water treatment plant (in Saidpur village). We drink treated water and not that drawn directly from the ‘dirty canal’ in which people and animals are bathing at the same time!


It always made us feel very important for being a resident of Islamabad while taking him to a visit to the Rose & Jasmine Garden or Shakarparian to show the map of Islamabad and the green hedge that was so artfully manicured by the gardeners to resemble the contours of Margalla Hills.

A trip to the Rawal Lake or a refreshing dip in one of those sparkling natural brooks always proved so exciting.

Now the blue tiled watercourses and cascades at Pakistan Secretariat are lying dry and dirty. We really don’t know what became of that ‘clay train’ in Saidpur village or if that water treatment plant there is still working or not.

The Rose & Jasmine Garden is no more worth showing to anybody and Rawal Lake is fast turning into polluted mass of water where migratory birds have stopped coming during the season as they used to do in the past.

However, now we have new things to show to visitors from the village. There is Faisal Mosque to begin with. Then a visit to Daman-e-Koh with lunch at Pir Sohawa.

A drive through the Jinnah Avenue to impress them with the tall buildings and walk on the Constitution Avenue to show them a series of impressive and important buildings, including the complex of luxury apartments for our MNAs and senators.

A round of the ‘Convention Centre’ and a view of the Serena Hotel (from the outside only).

And now this new monument is coming up fast on the western ridge of Shakarparian hillock. Once completed, it would add to the list of ‘must show’ items to every relative visiting us from the village. We will never run short of things to show here and feel important for being an Islamabadiite.

Goon narration

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