When Pakistan gained independence in 1947, the southern port city of Karachi was its first national capital. In the 1960s, Islamabad was constructed as a forward capital for several reasons.Traditionally, development in Pakistan was focused on the colonial center of Karachi, and President Ayub Khan wanted it equally distributed. Moreover, Karachi having tropical weather conditions, was located at one end of the country, making it vulnerable to attacks from the Arabian Sea. Pakistan needed a capital that was easily accessible from all parts of the country.Karachi, a business center, was also considered unsuitable partly because of intervention of business interests in government affairs.The newly selected location of Islamabad was closer to the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the disputed territory of Kashmir in the north.
In 1958, a commission was constituted to select a suitable site for the national capital with particular emphasis on location, climate, logistics, and defence requirements along with other attributes. After extensive study, research, and a thorough review of potential sites, the commission recommended the area northeast of Rawalpindi in 1959. A Greek firm of architects, Konstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis, designed the master plan of the city based on a grid plan which was triangular in shape with its apex towards the Margalla Hills. The capital was not moved directly from Karachi to Islamabad; it was first shifted temporarily to Rawalpindi in the early sixties and then to Islamabad when the essential development work was completed in 1966.