ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Friday bound landlords and tenants to furnish their details to the area police to avoid safe shelter to terrorists and militants.

The order was issued by the district magistrate on the request of the police and Special Branch, an official of the administration said.

The request was made as the Special Branch and Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF)’s intelligence cell were facing problems in collecting details about tenants.

A large number of people from across the country came to the capital during the last a couple of years, said the official.

There is no law to ask the landlords and tenants for the details so the district magistrate was approached to issue an order and make it mandatory for them to submit the details to the police.

According to the order “..miscreants tend to be involved in terrorist activities within the jurisdiction of ICT by hiding in houses/places taken on rent. In order to avert the involvement of miscreants who may accomplish their nefarious activities while residing within Islamabad, it is necessary to verify the particulars of persons occupying houses/commercial properties on rent through property dealers/owners on a regular basis.”

The tenants and landlords should provide details, including CNIC and mobile phone numbers on the prescribed proforma devised by the SSP operations, according to the order which shall come into force with immediate effect and remain in force for a period of two months.

Prayer leaders in the city would also be asked to convey the message to tenants and landlords and warn them that legal action would take against them if they did not provide the details, the official said.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn that the order was issued on the request of the police and its Special Branch.

In reply to a question, the DC said last time the data was collected during the tenure of former interior minister Nisar Ali Khan under an executive order.

As there was no such law to implement the order, the practice was abandoned about three years ago, he said.

Now there is no data available about the details of the tenants residing in the capital, he said.

About legislation and an ordinance drafted by the police in 2015 to legally bound the residents and visitors to provide personal details, the DC said it was pending before the National Assembly.

A few years ago, the capital police had started online registration of tenants and property dealers in order to facilitate citizens, a senior police officer said. But within months it was abandoned.

A similar practice to collect details of the tenants from property dealers was also started by the capital police but it was also abandoned about three years ago, he said.

Under this practice, a specific SIM was given to over 1,700 property dealers to send the details of people who hired their services to get houses on rent.

As a result, the tenants would be registered in a server provided by a cellular company to the police, the officer said, adding the server had also a database of criminals, proclaimed offenders, convicts and terrorists.

A similar SIM was also delivered to over 750 hotels, motels, inns and guest houses to send details of their visitors or guests to the server.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019