ISLAMABAD – Principal of Islamabad Model College for Boys, Sector I-10/1, has requested the Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to remove an illegal settlement adjacent to the college, fearing the presence of drug peddlers there could make the students vulnerable to drug addiction.

In his application written on December 26, the principal highlighting the nefarious activities of drug peddlers at I-10/1 Katchi Abadi has also mentioned the uncooperativeness of Islamabad police despite several complaints in this regard.

A survey conducted by TheNation of aforementioned illegal settlement brought to the light the connections between the settlers living there and of those occupying land in I-11 Katchi Abadi, commonly known as Afghan Basti. It dawned on that famous drug peddlers operating drug business from I-11 have outlets and assigned sub dealers at I-10/1.

The CDA has already chalked out a comprehensive plan aimed to retrieve several acres of its precious land from the adverse possession of illegal settlers at Afghan Basti (I-11). A grand operation titled “Aman, Salamti aur Behtari” is expected to be launched by the mid of this month. The operation is divided in three phases.

During the first phase of the operation the Authority in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has completed survey of Afghan Basti to ascertain the number of encroachers here. During the survey it is also established that slum is fast turning into a safe haven for all kinds of illegal activities.

While the second phase is in progress where the settlers were being asked to voluntarily vacate the area. In this regard notices have been served to all the illegal settlers.

However, the city managers are perturbed over the lax response extended by the UNHCR and SAFRON. The UNHCR representatives are of the view that CDA must designate alternate areas (green belts) to Afghan Refugees. While city managers are of the opinion that green belts are not designated areas for Afghan refugees, however, CDA could provide Rs 5,000 per month to all those refugees who are willing to shift to rented accommodations.

For those who could not afford to pay rent, CDA is willing to shift them to Kot Chandna, a designated Afghan Refugees camp. The survey conducted in the first week of December 2012 unveiled that some 7995 individuals comprising 864 families are occupying CDA’s valuable land in Sector I-11/1.

Out of 864 families, some 47 families (415 individuals) are of Punjab origin, 114 registered Afghan families comprising 1022 individuals, 27 non-registered Afghan families (254 individuals), 324 families (3,199 individuals) are of Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies origin, while 3105 individuals making up 352 families are from the different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The interesting fact that also came to surface is more than 350 individuals over the age of 18 have national identity cards mentioning Rawalpindi as their permanent residence address.

As per survey, 121 families (1018 individuals) of Mardan, 92 families (877 individuals) of Peshawar, 42 families (382 individuals) of Charsadda, 40 families (355 individuals) of Sawabi, 23 families (188 individuals) of Dir (Lower/Upper), 10 families (71 individuals) of Nowshehra are residing in Katchi Abadi I-11/1 under the guise of IDP’s of troubled areas of KPK.

Other families are from Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Mansehra, Swat, Malakan, Kohistan, Baden, Chitral, Buneer, Batgram, Loralai and Kohat. The Capital Development Authority, which this time seems serious to resolve the issue of Afghan Basti by completely rooting out this illegal locality, has chalked out a comprehensive plan for permanent repatriation of Afghan refugees and KPK residents to their respective areas.

It has also been learnt through the survey that a large chunk of these illegal settlers are the employees of wholesale dealers/ merchants of nearby fruit/ vegetable market.

Under the operation “Aman, Salamti and Behtari” the settlers belonging to KPK and FATA would be sent back to their native cities for which a rehabilitation package along with necessary logistics would be provided to them. For provision of rehabilitation package, non-governmental organisations would be asked to come forward.