ISLAMABAD: Islamabad will have a new $400 million ‘green-field’ airport with a capacity to handle 6.5 million passengers annually and would reflect the diverse cultural heritage of Pakistan.
The foundation for the ambitious airport project, incorporating the state-of-the-art facilities and reflecting the diverse cultural heritage of Pakistan, was laid by President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday. The name of the new airport has not been announced yet, but reports indicated that the government was thinking of naming it as ‘Gandhara’ international airport after the famous Buddhist civilisation, ruins of which existed close to Texila, known historically as Thakshasila.
Musharraf said linking the airport with the Buddhist civilisation was aimed at projecting Pakistan as a moderate Islamic and multi-cultural country. He said the new airport would be located in an area which had been the cradle of Buddhist civilisation and centre of Sikhism that would also facilitate religious tourism.