The Institute organized a Public Talk/ Book Launch today of “Islamabad and the Politics of International Development in Pakistan” by Dr. Markus Daechsel, Senior Lecturer in Modern Islamic History, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Presenting a highly original historical account of design and development of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, Dr Daechsel marked it as the most iconic and ambitious urban reconstruction project of twentieth century. He explained that this project not only gave a boost to Pakistan’s foreign relations, but also became a great integrated planning scheme for Pakistan’s development. He termed Constantinos Doxiadis as the most ambitious architect whose master plan of Islamabad not only addressed Pakistan’s housing needs, but also changed the way in which the Pakistani state operated in the 1950s and 1960s.
While analyzing Doxiadis’ relationship with Pakistani policy makers, bureaucrats and ordinary citizens, he emphasized the importance of interconnectedness of different modalities of powers involved. He provided new insights into the planning of the city, and explored the history of development as a transnational encounter between foreign consultants and donors on side, and the post-colonial nation on the other.