Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: 33 embassies operating in Islamabad residential areas

Years of negligent behaviour on the part of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is now coming back to haunt its management. According to official documents, 20 embassies are currently operating in residential areas, in violation of CDA bylaws, despite possessing plots within the Diplomatic Enclave. Setting up an embassy or any commercial outlet in residential areas is a violation of the CDA Ordinance 1960 and Building and Zoning Regulations. Of the 33 embassies and diplomatic missions operating in residential areas, 20 possess plots within the Diplomatic Enclave. In a letter available with Dawn, CDA informed the Foreign Office of the situation. The violators include the Swedish embassy, which allotted 9,600 sq yards in 1974, the Libyan embassy – allotted 24,782 sq yards in 1977, the Hungarian embassy – allotted 6,025 sq yards in 2005, the Norwegian embassy – allotted 9,000 sq yards in 2010, the Bangladeshi embassy – allotted 25,000 sq yards in 1990, the Philippine embassy – allotted 8,100 sq yards in 1965 and the Belgian embassy – allotted 14,400 sq yards in 1963. The Malaysian High Commission was allotted 20,120 sq yards in 1962, the Palestinian embassy was allotted 2,250 sq yards in 1989, the Uzbek embassy was allotted 6,676 sq yards in 2010, the Kazakhstan embassy was allotted 6,675 sq yards in 2012 and the Brazilian embassy was allotted 5,400 sq yards in 1966. The Jordanian embassy was given 4,800 sq yards in 1962, the Korean embassy was given 43,200 sq yards in 1985, the Tajik embassy was given 8,750 sq yards in 2009, the Tunisian embassy was given 2,120 sq yards in 2000 and the Afghan embassy was allocated 29,040 sq yards in 1974. Last month, CDA asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get embassies and offices of foreign missions moved from residential areas to the Diplomatic Enclave. A CDA official said the foreign affairs ministry was now taking up the matter with the concerned embassies. The embassies of Denmark, Turkmenistan, Portugal, Ukraine, South Africa, Maldives, Yemen, Kyrgyzstan, Aljazair, Vietnam, Romania and the European Union were also operating in residential areas and did not currently possess plots in the enclave.



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