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Islamabad Club

Written by Zainab Haseeb 7:27 pm Pakistan Unveiled, Published Content

Islamabad Club: An Iconic Establishment

The Islamabad Club remains an important establishment in Pakistan, offering many facilities and services. The club provides different facilities to its members, including swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, a gymnasium, and a golf course. It houses one of the best libraries in the city, with thousands of books in print and in its digital library. Additionally, members can enjoy fine dining experiences at the club’s restaurants and cafes. The club also hosts various social events and activities throughout the year, fostering a sense of community among its members.
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About the Author(s)
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Ms Zainab Haseeb is studying IR at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. She has previously participated in WWF's eco-internship.

Introduction

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a land of rich culture that is graced by a favorable geography and atmosphere for living. With an area of 796,095 km2, it has a few major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, and of course the capital city, Islamabad. Islamabad is home to some of the country’s important political locations, such as the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Parliament, the Stock Exchange, the State Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Office, and the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) headquarters. Apart from these, a prime location that provides a social platform for all political, military, and bureaucratic officers to mingle is the Islamabad Club.

The origin of Islamabad Club can be traced back to a company that was registered under the same title, under the Companies Act of 1913. After Pakistan’s inception and the change of capital, the club was graced with recognition. The Islamabad Club was established in 1967 to entertain and provide recreational and sports facilities to government officers of different ranks, such as servants, diplomats, and the inhabitants of the city.

Who Controls the Club?

In 1978, Presidential Ordinance No. XXXIII was passed on 17th July, 1978 which resumed the club ownership by the government of Pakistan, leading to the dissolution of the company. The president of Pakistan is the patron of the Islamabad Club. Once the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division dissolved in 2018, the club was put under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division of the government. Although it operates under the Club Ordinance, it doesn’t receive any grants or Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) funding for functioning.  

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Assets & Administration

The assets and administration of the club are conferred to the administrator appointed by the federal government. The administrator is assisted and aided by the managing committee which is also appointed by the federal government. The key resources of the club are to be utilized through a process of consultation to maintain transparency.

Structure of the Management

The management is headed by the secretary of the club who is the CEO. The CEO is then assisted by the department heads for the purpose of executing and overseeing policies given by the government-appointed administrator and managing committee.

Membership Criteria of the Islamabad Club

In order to qualify for the membership of the Islamabad Club, specific membership criteria have been outlined on the website. The conditions include:

  1. Any gentleman/lady who is a resident of Rawalpindi/Islamabad or is posted there and is at least 18 years old is eligible for membership.
  2. A candidate who wishes to become a club member should belong to the above-mentioned classes. Moreover, he/she should go through the detailed eligibility criteria and must fulfill them. The requirements are specific to each class comprising different regulations.
  3. A candidate who fulfills the general eligibility criteria shall not be granted the club membership. Membership shall only be granted with the specified processes and procedures as per the regulations.

Facilities Offered by the Islamabad Club

Sports and Health

The sports and health facilities comprise a full range of outdoor and indoor activities such as horse riding, polo, cricket, golf, basketball, and futsal. The club further offers swimming pools, gymnasiums, and courts for tennis, squash, and badminton.

Fun and Recreation

For the purpose of fun and recreation, the Islamabad Club has an auditorium, cinema, and a play area for children.

Food and Buffet

For food and buffet, the Islamabad Club provides its café, a lobby lounge, a family hall, Jharoka, the Darbar Hall, Dewan-e-Khas, the Polo Snack Bar, the Golf Club Terrace, the Club Patisserie, a food court dedicated to Pan-Asian cuisine, a patio, and room and buffet services. Hence, it caters to all kinds of sustenance needs of its guests and has different cultural contours to its halls and food selection to ensure inclusivity.

Conference Rooms

The three major halls of the club include a conference room, a multi-purpose hall, and a banquet room. All these halls are dedicated to different activities of formal, exclusive, or official nature.

Library

An interesting section of the club is its library. The Islamabad Club has one of the best libraries in the city comprising a multitude of books on a wide range of subjects that could interest its readers. There are around seven thousand books in the club with four hundred DVDs of classical movies. The library has subscriptions to thirty different national and international magazines and ten national as well as international newspapers. In recent years, the library has developed a digital record of different books. On the website, there are around 7,983 digital entries of books with the names of authors mentioned side by side.

Business Centre

The business center in the Islamabad Club has multiple facilities. It is situated next to the conference rooms and remains a source of attraction for different conferences. The center helps the members compile different notes through photocopying machines, faxes, and high-speed internet. There are CD/DVD writing services available too.

Reciprocal Clubs

An interesting feature of the club is the reciprocal club feature that it offers to the citizens of other major cities of Pakistan as well as international clubs. The non-residents of Islamabad can present a card of introduction from their club and can be admitted as a member for a period of thirty days for each visit. The reciprocal clubs include both national and international clubs on the list.

Reports about the Islamabad Club

The Islamabad Club is an excellent platform for socializing and promises a wide range of activities, cuisines, and sports complex for its members. The residents of the city can benefit a great deal from the club in terms of finding accommodation and other services. However, a few reports by the Tribune have revealed some facts about the club that can alarm those who have a membership or those who are seeking it.

In February 2017, a missing man’s body was found hanging in one of the trees on the club’s lawn. In September, 2017 the club was accused of violating land rights as land rates weren’t revised as per the agreement. In 2023, the club put a hold on granting people their memberships despite getting an advance of Rs 830 million.


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The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.

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