Islamabad - The International Friendship Garden situated at Shakarparian in Islamabad is a source to track the history of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with other countries as it has 130 trees of friendship, planted by different heads of states on their visit to Pakistan.
The garden was established by CDA soon after the shifting of capital city from Karachi to Islamabad. It is a tradition that whenever a foreign President or Prime minister visits Pakistan, he/she plants a tree at the Shakarparian Hills at Islamabad, which shows Pakistan’s friendship with other countries. The tradition of tree plantation by visiting guests at the garden began on February 21, 1964, when Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, sowed a seed of the Chinese Tallow Tree, whereas, the last sapling was planted by Senegal’s President on September 7, 2016.
The garden has the highest number of trees planted by the Chinese heads of the state from time to time, which includes the trees planted by its Premiers Zhouenlai, Zhao Ziayang, Le Peng, Zourongji, Wen Jiabao and Le Keqiang, Presidents of China Li Xiannian, Yang Shagkun, Jaing Zemin and Hu Jentao, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Vice Prime Minister of China Keng Plao, Chairman Standing Committee of National People’s Congress Ven Li and Chairman Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin.
The King of Saudi Arabia Shah Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud had planted the third sapling in this garden. There are representations of several countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Malaysia, Bahrain, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Bosnia, Palestine, Korea, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Philippines, Canada, Senegal, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Mauritius, France, Japan, Qatar, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Iran, Brunei Darussalam and Kirghizstan. The International Friendship Garden is a bucket of several trees including the Chinese tallow tree, Chinar, Chir pine, Olive, Diar, Araucaria Cookii, and Araucaria excels and Magnolia Grand flora.
The civic body is doing its utmost efforts to turn it into one of the most well prepared gardens of the country. Each tree has the nameplate of its planter, which also includes the date of plantation. The CDA is also planning to further develop this place by establishing a gallery carrying the brief introduction and photographs of the dignitaries who planted the trees, whereas the lights are also installed in the area where dignitaries and leaders from other countries have planted the trees. The map of Islamabad is displayed there, which is named as Islamabad Viewpoint. Although, there are several gardens in the world, which are named after friendship, but the idea behind this garden is unique as it owns international history.
muhammad asad chaudhry