ISLAMABAD: For the last a few days, the citizens have felt a pleasant surprise by looking at a billboard which declares Islamabad as the second most beautiful capital of the world.
However, the first question which they asked was about the criteria adopted to rank the cities.
Naeem Ahmed, a resident of Islamabad, said he was driving on the Islamabad Highway along with his family when he saw the board at I-8 Chowk.
A picture of the Zero Point Interchange is printed on the billboard along with the portrait of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“My wife said if Islamabad is really the second most beautiful city of the world, we should feel proud of it,” Mr Naeem said.
“Once I used to hear ‘Islamabad the beautiful’ but I did not know our city is so beautiful that it can be ranked second in the world,” he said.
Mohammad Ali, a representative of the company which owned the board, said they often get advertisements to display on the board but under the agreement with the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the civic agency can also use it.
“The CDA placed the current advertisement on the board on the occasion of initiating work on the widening of Islamabad Highway. We have nothing to do with the advertisement,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of websites have carried the news about the top 10 most beautiful capitals of the world.
According to one of the websites, London is the most beautiful capital of the world while Islamabad is the second. Berlin is on the third number followed by Washington, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Budapest, Ottawa and Moscow.
An official of the directorate of municipal administration in the CDA, who was not authorised to speak on record, said when the advertisement was being placed, he also thought about the criteria for the ranking of the beautiful capitals.
“I asked about it and then came to know that things which were kept in mind while ranking the cities included green areas, population density, planning, infrastructure and mountain views,” he said.
“Islamabad is no doubt one of the most beautiful and planned cities and that is why it has been ranked as the second most beautiful capital,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2015