ISLAMABAD-Kohsar Market - the oldest market of the capital - still pleases and attracts the elite section of our society and offers services which outsmart all other major markets of the city.

The market looks more festive with all the greenery and lined-up restaurants providing sitting areas in front of them with canopies giving shade and adding more beauty to the area.

In addition, the market is closest to the red zone of the capital and at the same time situated in the area where every house belongs to either top members of the civil bureaucracy or diplomats.

This adds up to the level of security needed in the area where Rangers are always seen patrolling on one side of the market and a police checkpost is present on the other side making the area safer and under surveillance all the time.

Because of being closer to the Parliament and the federal secretariat, Kohsar Market even attracts many politicians and bureaucrats. Over the years, it has emerged as the best place for socialising of our political and bureaucratic elite. Known faces from media and businessmen are also seen quite often here.

While talking with The Nation, Muhammad Nouman Zamir, manager at one of the restaurants in the market, claimed that the market greets almost every member of the Parliament. He stated that it was very hard to recall the last day when he had not seen any politician or bureaucrat coming in the market.

The manager also believed that owing to the cool temperature and charming environment, these public figures were attracted to this particular market. He claimed that due to the greenery and canopies, the area remained cooler in summers and pleasant in winters with folded canopies allowing customers to enjoy the shining sun.

Moving forward in search of more views about the market, this correspondent went to a grocery store and talked to its owner regarding the subject. Muhammad Hameed, the owner of the store said that what the restaurants present here happens nowhere else in Islamabad and were among the best. In addition, he also said that the better facilities and food were also the reason for higher rates.

“The outclass food and the service provided by these restaurants are not found anywhere else in Islamabad. This is the reason why the bills here are also higher than the rest,” said Hameed.

When asked if the market attracts only the elite sector of our society, the owner nodded with a smile and pointed at the luxury cars parked in the parking lot saying, “obviously most of the people coming here are rich or well placed. Look at the cars.”

Elaborating the subject, he also told that 90 per cent of the cars are either red number plates (of diplomats) or green (bureaucrats and politicians holding public office), said Hameed.

When asked about the names of the members of the Parliament seen in this market, Hameed stated that almost every one of them is seen in the sitting areas of the restaurants present over here. He did not agree on calling out names but he assured this correspondent that almost every member of the Parliament was seen in the premises of this market area.

There is no doubt in saying that the market provides a unique environment to its customers. On questioning, a costumer Abdullah stated that the market and especially the dining area of the market gave him a special vibe, as if he was sitting in one of the street restaurant of some country of Europe.

And as a matter of fact, the confined but impressive utilisation of the sitting areas outside these lined-up restaurants do give a special vibe and seems like one of the Caribbean countries with lush greenery and pleasing weather.

However, owing to the higher rates of services offered by these restaurants in the market, the costumers here are often from elite strata of our society rather than the middle class or lower class.

Of late, Prime Minister Imran Khan also shared his views regarding some members of his cabinet who according to him, spent more time in Kohsar market than in their respective offices.

How would the Prime Minister know about the regular visitors of this place? The Kohsar market is an open place and the visitors cannot hide their presence there. Even otherwise, according to a restaurant employee, a spymaster also lives in a nearby street.