Naming New Islamabad Airport

AS date is nearing completion of the new Islamabad International Airport, the Federal Cabinet has formed a Committee to propose name for the new facility. The committee comprises Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bazenjo, Adviser on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddique, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb and Barrister Zafarullah, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Law.
It is good that instead of taking unilateral decision to name the new airport, the Prime Minister has constituted a Committee of distinguished cabinet colleagues and it is hoped that the Committee would come out with a name that gets approval of the entire nation. The name should be non-controversial, non-political and non-partisan, otherwise this is bound to be changed with the change of government. This has happened in the past in the case of many projects and initiatives including ‘Peoples Open University’, which was later renamed as Allama Iqbal Open University. The last PPP government also renamed a number of infrastructure projects that were already there in the name of its leader and credit goes to the present government for not changing them including the poverty alleviation programme with the title of ‘Benazir Income Support Programme’. Islamabad is the national capital and its new airport would become destination of millions of passengers from across the globe annually. It should have a name that symbolises something special. We already have Quaid-i-Azam International Airport in Karachi and Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. It would be in the fitness of things if Islamabad airport is named after Madr-i-Millat Mohtarma Fatimah Jinnah – Fatimah Jinnah International Airport. It would be a befitting tribute to sister of the founder of Pakistan, who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with her brother in realising the dream of a separate homeland for Muslims of South Asia.

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