The provincial capital has seen its fair share of violence, but what transpired in the city on Tuesday was at best, bedlam.
Warsak Road and other main arteries of the city, especially routes leading to Cantonment, were blocked for all kinds of vehicular traffic.
University Road, connecting Cantonment to the rest of the city, was blocked at Aman Chowk after the incident and traffic was diverted to other routes. Large contingents of security forces, police and FC cordoned Cantonment off during the gunfight between militants and security forces.
Khyber Road, GT Road, Sher Shah Suri Road and Prison Road were cordoned off owing to VIP movement. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and top military brass including Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif reached Peshawar following the attack. All adjacent markets and petrol pumps were closed down as armoured personnel carriers (APC) patrolled the streets. Traffic coming from other districts was diverted to Ring Road at Pir Zakori bridge.
Officials said parts of Khyber Road and Sher Shah Suri Road were already cordoned off following intelligence reports about militants entering Peshawar. Owing to the closure, alternative routes of Old Bara Road and Ring Road remained clogged.
Superintendent of police (SP) traffic said the roads were blocked in order to avert a second sabotage attempt. “The militants can attack government installations,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2014.