LAHORE - An informal inquiry into the proposed diplomatic enclave in the provincial capital is underway, The Nation has learnt reliably. The evaluation exercise has started after conflicting statements by the government gurus.

Sources say, since such structures need stringent security system, the officials concerned have started looking up the matter.

The Punjab Cabinet, in its formal meetings, pondered over the proposal to provide a secure place to diplomatic dignitaries, while one the top bureaucrats claimed that a diplomatic enclave ‘would be built at its newly-launched residential project, LDA City’.

“Apart from a central business centre, LDA City will have 47,700 residential plots. We will allocate a separate and secure piece of land for the development of a diplomatic enclave where we want various countries to establish their consulates general, resident missions and offices,” LDA Additional Director General Ammara Khan told a 48-officer badge of the 38th specialized training programme a few days ago.

Cabinet members said: “No decision has so far been taken. Such a sensitive structure needs security clearances. It can’t be launched in haste.”

The government functionaries had failed to reply the query concerning senior LDA officer’s statement for allocating land for a diplomatic enclave in its upcoming residential project LDA City.

Security sources said the inquiry would ascertain the status of a possible diplomatic enclave in the provincial capital. They said LDA City would be a populace residential area and building a diplomatic enclave would be a serious security hazard.

The provincial government has launched a search for suitable land for the purpose, though no decision has been made. Such an establishment needs 600 kanals (75 acres) for establishing a diplomatic enclave in Lahore. It had pondered upon selecting a piece of land at Barki Road in Lahore Cantt – the land belonging to the Punjab government. The discussed land was later used by setting up a Counter Terrorism Department Punjab (CTDP) station and the remaining land would be used for CTDP’s headquarters.

A few days ago in its security assessment for setting up the Chinese consulate, a top security service declared the land a security hazard. The US government too desired to build its consulate on 22-acre in Johar Town in Lahore but the Raymond Davis episode putt off the plan.