Kidnapped VC Completes Three Years In Captivity

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It was September 8, 2010 when the Vice-chancellor of the Islamia College University (ICU) Ajmal Khan was kidnapped from outside his residence in the Professors Colony near the campus of the University of Peshawar. The government has failed to ensure the safe recovery of the missing official even over three years of his kidnapping.

Ajmal Khan requested the federal government time and again through video messages to help him return home safe and sound. Apart from Ajmal Khan, two high-profile individuals who have been missing for long and are yet to be recovered include Ali Haider Gilani, son of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor, Salman Taseer. He has been missing since August 2011 while Gilani has been missing since May.

The ICU vice-chancellor was being driven in his official car A-9450 by his driver Mohibullah at around 9:20am on September 8 2010 when they were intercepted by three gunmen riding a car in the Professors Colony just outside the University of Peshawar Campus.

The vice-chancellor and his driver were immediately shifted to the Khyber Agency and later transported to other tribal areas. No one knows about the whereabouts of Ajmal Khan since then. He is still posted as vice-chancellor of the ICU after the government extended his tenure as head of the historic educational institution.

Police conducted a successful raid in the Karkhano Market the same day and recovered the car used in the kidnapping of Ajmal Khan, arresting an alleged kidnapper. However, the kidnapped official had already been shifted to the tribal area.Raids were conducted in Ghundi, Sakhi Pul, Nasir Bagh and other parts of Peshawar and tribal areas during which the cops recovered son of a retired banker kidnapped for ransom from Hayatabad, but failed to recover Ajmal Khan.

A number of jirgas were held, students, teachers and vice-chancellors of other institutions staged protests and the government made appeals for the release of Ajmal Khan, but in vain.Even the government of the Awami National Party, whose chief Asfandyar Wali Khan is a close relative of Ajmal Khan, failed to make any headway in the recovery of the senior academician.

Before Ajmal Khan, the vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel was kidnapped while coming to Peshawar from Kohat via Darra Adamkhel in November 2009. He was later released safe and sound.

Ajmal Khan was appointed vice-chancellor when the Islamia College was given the status of university. Previously, he was heading Gomal University in Dera Ismail Khan as vice-chancellor and had served the historic Islamia College as its principal.

The kidnapped vice-chancellor is the grandson of Abdul Jabbar Khan, popularly known as Dr Khan Sahib, who had served as chief minister of the West Pakistan, chief minister of the erstwhile NWFP and federal minister for communication in the federal cabinet.

He was the elder brother of freedom fighter and Khudai Khidmatgar movement founder Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Ajmal Khan’s father Obaidullah was the first cousin of late Khan Abdul Wali Khan, veteran nationalist politician and father of Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.

Source: The News