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Deadline expires: UN offices in University Town likely to be sealed

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Peshawar

PESHAWARAs the deadline to vacate the residential area in University Town has expired, offices of the international aid organisations, including United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and over a dozen health facilities are likely to be sealed.

On the other hand, the district administration has made it clear it will take action to stop commercial activities in residential areas.

“We will not spare anyone, be they national or international organisations, since we don’t want to be served with contempt of court notice and we will take action across the board,” DC Riaz Mehsud toldThe Express Tribune
on Wednesday.

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However, UN officials said they were not allowed to speak on the issue. “We cannot give you an official version since things are being discussed on the upper level,” a UN official said, requesting anonymity.

Locality matters

According to officials dealing with the issue, the management served notices to all those involved in what they called “illegal activities” since offices and other institutions, including those of health and education, were being illegally run within the residential areas.

They said the Peshawar High Court issued a detailed judgment earlier, ordering the district management to immediately vacate such offices and other business setups from the
residential areas.

Officials added they had been negotiating with those involved in such activities, but the respondents would always request for some time. However, the offices and other institutions were not relocated even though they had been issued notices.

“Now, we have received a contempt of court notice and we, on August 1, served notices to all those having been identified,” a senior official at the Town office said, “[Now] we are left with only one option – to seal every institution and office.”

The official, who refused to be named since he was not entitled to speak to the media, said they could not back out despite having been influenced politically since they feared court would not
spare them.

By Umer Farroq Published in The Express Tribune,

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