The University Town in Peshawar was once a peaceful and comfortable residential area. But at present, the lives of the residents of this town are at risk because of large-scale occupations in the area by foreigners and diplomatic missions. The authorities have been absolutely deaf and dumb about this phenomenon and have no comment either on the blatant commercialization of this noble residential area. The precedence to commercialize was made decades ago by some respectable local doctors who had started their private clinics and hospitals here. But now this commercialization has taken a most bizarre form. The area is teeming with schools, colleges, universities and mini-hospitals running in meager buildings primarily erected as houses. The biggest threat to peace of the area, though, are the foreigners which are occupying properties here in their droves to be used as their clubs, NGOs, offices and diplomatic missions. And these foreign 'establishments' are attached wall-to-wall with houses of locals bearing families. The deployed security measures for these foreign occupants are too sparse to be any source of comfort to their innocent neighbours. The residents are both surprised and aggrieved that the local police chief or the housing administrator of the University Town are so apathetically disposed towards this disturbing development. This, by the way, has not happened suddenly but has been going on for years. The residents request the authorities that immediate steps be taken for this improvised diplomatic enclave to be turned back into a residential town again. -MARGHUZ KHAN, Peshawar, via e-mail, April 18.