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Expansion of Diplomatic Enclave on cards

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is expanding the limits of Diplomatic Enclave up to the Bari Imam shrine to accommodate the offices of some 35 more foreign missions presently operating in different residential areas of the capital.

Diplomatic Enclave is the most sensitive area in Islamabad housing over 40 embassies.

“The extension of the enclave has been proposed in the revised masterplan of Islamabad and final approval in this regard would be sought from the federal cabinet,” a senior official of Capital Development Authority (CDA) told this reporter.

However, the CDA has already violated the Islamabad Master Plan by extending the limits of the enclave three years ago. A green area located between Noorpur Shahan village and Diplomatic Enclave had been made part of the latter despite the fact that there was no such provision in the master plan.

The official said the enclave was being expanded to avoid security hazards confronting those embassies located in the residential areas. The enclave has been heavily fenced and the entry of public, other than the employees of embassies and visa-seekers, has also been banned.

To ensure airtight security in the area, the government has constituted a new police department named as Diplomatic Protection Department (DPD) besides deploying police there.

The official said foreign missions had requested the Foreign Office several times in the past to immediately shift their embassies from residential area to the Diplomatic Enclave. In this connection, the officials of the Foreign Office asked the CDA chairman to launch the project as soon as possible.

Source: The Dawn

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