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ISLAMABAD: Given its rapid expansion and the frequency of terrorist-related incidents in the area, police officials have proposed that the locality of Bhara Kahu be given a second police station.

In 2013, a baker was shot and killed in Bhara Kahu bazaar. This was no ordinary crime, because alongside the baker died Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani of the feared Haqqani Network. The same year, an explosives-laden car was seized from the same area.

Then, in Dec 2014, Islamabad Inspector General Tahir Alam Khan admitted police knew there were terrorist sanctuaries in Bhara Kahu.

An influx of settlers into the suburb over the years has created such policing problems that the Islamabad police have proposed that a second police station be established.

Urbanisation of the sprawling locality started in 2005 when the Kashmiri families uprooted by the earthquake that year arrived there. But crime and security became a growing concern after internally displaced tribesmen and migrants from Punjab started settling in Bhara Kahu, senior police officials told Dawn.

Suspicions grew that the locality provided hideouts to militants and anti-social elements when police and the paramilitary Rangers conducted search operations in Bhara Kahu area several times.

Indeed, intelligence agencies identified seven sectors of the vast suburb for special vigilance. The intelligence noted that thousands of calls were made to Afghanistan from the locality when Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited Islamabad in November 2014.

Islamabad police have proposed that the jurisdiction of the existing Police Station Bhara Kahu be limited to the southern side of the Murree Road and a new Police Station Kot Hathyal be established on the northern side.

Police officers say that of all the criminal incidents recorded since 2012 in the locality, 1,198 took place on the southern side and 690 on the northern side. Significantly, five of the six important and sensitive government installations in the area are located on the northern side, as well as two tourist spots.

Data collected before conducting search operations showed that Bhara Kahu has 135 mosques, four Imambargahs, 36 seminaries and four churches on its territory. Seven main Muharram processions are taken out from the area, including seven from the proposed limits, they said, adding that the police hope earliest action by the chief commissioner of Islamabad on their proposal for the new police station, having strength of 60 policemen, even if in a rented building.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2015

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