Authorities fail to clear varsity town of 'outsiders'
Peshawar, May 10: The authorities concerned have failed to vacate the residential bungalows, being used as offices, guest houses and schools, in University Town area of the provincial metropolis even after the expiry of the deadline.
The Town-III administration had set a 15-day deadline for all those non-governmental organisations, schools, international organisations and guest houses to vacate the residential area. The deadline expired three days ago but the administration could not take action against them owing to multiple reasons.
About 120 notices have been issued to all those, who have converted the residential bungalows into offices, schools, hospitals and restaurants, directing them to vacate the residential area within 15 days.
Most of the bungalows in University Town were being used since long as offices by NGOs, schools, hospitals and restaurants, triggering concern among the residents, officials of Town-III said.
"We had sealed around 15 restaurants and clinics in University Town for violating building regulations but after a few days the same were again reopened by the owners," they said. On the expiry of the deadline, the administration asked Town police station to register FIRs against the owners of the bungalows but police were reluctant to take action.
"Police have been refusing to register FIRs on different pretexts. First they said that they had sent the case to their legal branch to take its opinion and now they say that they will investigate the cases and then register FIRs," an official said.
He added all the NGOs, owners of the restaurants, clinics and schools did not care for the notices issued to them as Town-III administration could only disconnect water supply to them, which they could arrange through other means.
The administrator of Town-III, Javed Amjad, when contacted, said that the issue had been discussed with Peshawar Commissioner Azam Khan requesting him to empower the administration to disconnect supply of electricity and natural gas to such offices, restaurants, clinics and schools.
"I have also requested the commissioner to take up the issue of foreign NGOs and offices with the home department," he said.
Mr Amjad added that Peshawar High Court had also issued a verdict few years ago in favour of the residents, who had approached the court against establishment of offices in the residential area."We have suggested to the provincial government to establish a 'diplomatic enclave' somewhere in Peshawar on the pattern of Islamabad to avoid problems to the locals," he said.
The University Town hosts offices of UNHCR, USAID, American Club, Iranian Consulate, the International Committee of the Red Cross and British Council besides scores of national and international NGOs.
Owing to the deteriorating law and order situation in Peshawar, security has been beefed up at these offices, creating problems for the residents of the area. Few roads in the area have also been closed by erecting barricades to avert terror attack on the offices.
The movement of foreigners, who are usually escorted by well-armed guards, triggers unrest among the locals. The locals complain that they are under growing stress owing to movement and presence of foreigners in the area.
They also staged several protest demonstrations in the past against setting up offices of international organisations in the residential area, terming it as a threat to them.
Quetta college employee found dead
Quetta: An employee of Agriculture College Quetta was found dead on Saturday in his house in the Junior Assistant Colony, police said.
Saeed Wali was tortured to death, police said.
Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Shabbir said that there were wounds on the head and other parts of Mr Wali's body.
According to sources, police broke the door of Mr Wali's house and found the body in a room.
Mr Wali's brother-in-law Zakir and nephew Saeed Kabir were taken into custody for interrogation after police found the deceased's cellphone in Kabir's possession. Dawn