Aug. 1, 1960: Islamabad named capital of Pakistan

Teresa Mathew

On this day—Aug. 1, 1960—Islamabad was named the capital of Pakistan. Until that point Karachi had been the nation’s capital, but the change to Islamabad was instituted for myriad reasons. It was more centrally located, closer to the army headquarters, and people were worried that keeping Karachi, the nation’s business center, as the capital would allow businesses to easily interfere in government affairs.

Before officially moving to Islamabad, the capital was temporarily shifted to Rawalpindi in the early 60s before construction work in Islamabad had been completed. Despite having .8% of the nation’s population, Islamabad contributes 1% to Pakistan’s GDP. Islamabad’s stock exchange is the third largest in the country, and it has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan at 87%.