After the suicide attack on Monday morning which targeted US embassy employees, residents have asked the government to move NGO offices from their area.
The blast, which occurred in University Town, killed three people and injured 19 others.
According to End Violence Against Women/Girls Alliance Programme Coordinator Qamar Naseem, several local and international NGOS, including seven United Nations’ organisations currently work in University Town.
Earlier, the town administration had issued 300 notices to commercial buildings to vacate the residential area, including the American Club. They were told to leave before August 29 or necessary action would be taken to remove them. However, the civic body failed to take any action even past the deadline.
Witness Abid Ali said the vehicle hit by the blast was completely destroyed. Inamullah Khan, another resident, said his house was also affected by the impact of the blast. He added that it was not the first incident of its kind in the area, and that many NGOs here had been targeted in the past. “The area should only be rented by families and not be used for business purposes,” he said.
Another resident, Allahjan, said he moved to this area from Bara, Khyber Agency because of the violence caused by the ongoing military operation. “Peshawar is no more suitable for living than Bara,” he said. He also asked that complete verification be done before renting accommodation so as to not give it to commercial enterprises.
Residents of University Town demanded that without undergoing proper scrutiny, houses in the area should not be rented. They also suggested that each housing unit carry the name and details of the occupant in the house to ensure that it is not used for commercial purposes. Residents also claimed that despite increasing security threats and targeting NGOs workers from offices, the prices of renting and purchasing property in the area has greatly increased.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.