International Affairs

Rangers to launch search operation in Afghan slums of twin cities

ISLAMABAD: Federal government has decided to launch a search operation with the help of rangers in all Afghan slums located within Islamabad and surroundings of Rawalpindi. Local police would help rangers in this operation. The reason behind giving rangers the permission of doing a search operation is due to the past experience in which locals have highly opposed any such operation.

Sources from Interior Ministry told BBC that the government decided to do a survey of all the slums in twin cities after Abbottabad incident.

Sources told, according to the facts and figures collected by police institution intelligence bureau and special branch that there are approximately more than four thousand people who are residing illegally in Islamabad and its suburb areas, there links with banned organizations and criminal elements can not be ruled out.

According to the survey, there are almost 47 families are living in the slums located in the sector I-11 of Islamabad. The number of Afghan families living in the slums of Rawalpindi is 56. The families who are registered in the refugee list of UN institution are included in this survey. The total number of illegal residents in Islamabad is more than 700.

According to the estimate of Islamabad management there are more than 20 slums in the city out of which 9 belong to the Christian community, the rest have the residents form various parts of Pakistan. During Musharraf tenure the initiative for searching the slums was taken but these search operations were stopped as they were strongly opposed by the locals.

According to the sources, the people residing in the slums of Bari Imam, Noor Pur Shaha and I-11 are backed by some strong people. A progressive institution in Islamabad had allotted plots to these slum residents in the suburb area of Ali Pur Farash but most of them are still living in these slums even after taking those plots.

Sources told that in a high level meeting in Interior Ministry a detailed report about the illegal Madrasas (seminaries) and mosques was presented but no decision about taking any action against them was taken in the meeting.

Meanwhile Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan has demanded report from the Afghan consulate on Tuesday, as Afghan Consulate had put a ban on the issuance of Afghan visas. Afghan Consulate in Peshawar had placed a ban on issuing Afghan visas to Pakistani nationals up till 10 June.

The residents who went for getting an Afghani visas last day strongly protested against this ban. Sources told that Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan Muhammad Umar Daud Zai has asked for a report from the Afghan consulate about this taking this decision within two days. -Online

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Mubashar Nizam

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