The police data highlights 42 murder and 79 attempted murder cases were reported in the area
The past five years have seen the biggest union council of the federal capital, Bhara Kahu, turn into a safe haven for criminals and militants from various banned outfits. Residents of the area do not just have to bear with water shortages and lack of other basic amenities, they are left on their own to confront lawlessness and continuously rising crime.
The area, which is just 10 kilometres from the highly-sensitive Red Zone that houses the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, President House, and the Diplomatic Enclave, has turned into a hub of serious criminal activity involving murder, rape and kidnappings. Moreover, street crime is rampant in the union council that hosts a population of around 125,000.
Official figures show a rise in incidents of robberies, murder, attempted murder, rape, kidnappings and vehicle thefts during the period January 2010 to September 2015 in the jurisdiction of Bhara Kahu Police Station.
Sources in the police department told The Express Tribune that many banned outfit were also operating in the outskirts of the capital.
In many areas of Bhara Kahu, police vehicles cannot even patrol as streets in the unplanned development are too narrow, a police officer, who requested not to be named told The Express Tribune.
The official said that in 2013, Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son Nasiruddin Haqqani was killed in Bhara Kahu, and the same year an explosives-laden car was seized in the area.
The official claimed that the migration of people from Azad Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake also contributed to the increase in crime.
He also pointed out that intelligence agencies identified thousands of calls made to Afghanistan from the area when Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited Islamabad in November 2014.
The police data highlights 42 murder and 79 attempted murder cases were reported in the area from January 2010 to September 2015. During the same period, 91 rape and kidnapping cases and 147 incidents of robbery were also reported.
Eight murder cases were reported in 2010, four in 2011, six in 2012, 23 cases in 2013, 10 in 2014 and four this year.
Of the 91 cases of rape and kidnapping, 16 cases were reported in 2010, nine were reported in 2011, 10 in 2012, 18 in 2013, 20 in 2014, and 18 this year.
In 2010, 29 cases of robbery were reported at the Bhara Kahu Police Station, 26 in 2011, 29 in 2012, 24 in 2013, 29 in 2014, and 19 this year.
From January 2010 to September 2015, 45 vehicles and 17 motorcycles were stolen in the jurisdiction of Bhara Kahu police station. Moreover, 58 cases were reported related to tempering of vehicles during the last five years.
In February this year, gunmen snatched a vehicle from Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairperson Siddiqul Farooq from the area.
Similarly, 385 cases were registered under the arms ordinance for possession of illegal weapons during the last five years.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tahir Alam Khan said that Bhara Kahu could become a dangerous zone in the future. He however said that the police department realised the gravity of the situation.
“We have proposed more police stations in Bhara Kahu. I believe this problem could be resolved this way,” the IGP said.
When asked how new police stations would be set up since the department was already facing a shortage of cops, the IGP said the government should make fresh inductions.
Another official pointed out that a majority of officers were deputed with the VIPs and at the headquarters at the Police Lines. The IGP said that 700 posts were vacant for last many years and recruitment on 400 positions was recently finalised.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2015.