The headquarters of Hazara division, situated at an altitude of 1,285 m (4200 ft) above sea level & surrounded by refreshing green hills of Sarban, is one of the best known hill resort of Pakistan. It is situated on the Karakoram Highway (Silk Route) to China, 120 Km from Rawalpindi/Islamabad & 205 Km from Peshawar. The climate is temperate with 4 distinct seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter. The summer is pleasant while the winter is moderately cold with occasional snowfall. The city is non-industrial, situated in the green Orash valley & is free from environmental pollution. It has a population of over 300,000.
Like Hazara, Abbottabad has seen many invasions from outside by the conquering forces of diverse races, tribes & kingdoms. The modern city of Abbottabad was founded by Major Abbott, the British deputy commissioner of Hazara (1849 to 1853) during British rule in the subcontinent. Major Abbott is credited with making major changes in the administrative setup in the region so that after his departure, the city was named after him. The British maintained a sizeable military presence here, evident even today by the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), which has remained as the major training academy for military officers. The PMA provided fame to Abbottabad for many years, prior to the recent development of the city, from a non-industrial backward area, to a busy modern business, economic & academic centre.
With the arrival of modern amenities such as good roads, telephone, natural gas, internet, modern banking, small scale industry, etc., the city has been transformed to a thoroughly livable & year-round pleasant dwelling place for all kinds of inhabitants. People have gathered from all parts of the country to settle here, build houses & start business & commerce. The easy approach to Islamabad & Peshawar has helped the growth of the city tremendously. The Karakoram Highway or ‘Silk Route’ which links Abbottabad to Northern Areas of Pakistan & future to China has increased trade & tourism.
Abbottabad boasts the highest number of educational institutions in the country per population or areas. The literacy rate is also among the highest in the country. Besides PMA, Abbottabad Public School & College, Army Burn Hall School & College, Pakistan International Public School & College, Beacon House & some other very famous educational institutions are situated here.