Educational circles in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province were shocked on Tuesday at the daylight kidnapping of Dr Mohammad Ajmal Khan, the vice-chancellor of the upgraded Islamia College University. According to details, some unidentified gunmen in two vehicles picked the VC when he left his Professors’ Colony residence in the morning and proceeded towards his office. The news of his kidnapping spread like wild fire in City and naturally led to panic and insecurity among the people. On receiving the news, police rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. From the humming Karkhano Markets, police rounded up a person on charges of suspicion. Kidnappers were believed to have shifted the VC to neighbouring tribal Khyber Agency. However, some social circles, familiar with the modus operandi of the highly organised kidnap-for-ransom mafia, were of the opinion that the VC might well have been kept in some secret hideout within the sprawling University Town itself. One can imagine the ordeal of the family whose high-profile head was taken away at gunpoint at a time when Eidul Fitr was just round the corner.
The incident occurred only weeks after Dr Lutfullah Khan Kakakhel, the vice-chancellor of Kohat University of Engineering and Technology, returned from the captivity of his kidnappers who picked him from the dreaded Akhorwal area of Darra Adam Khel and held him captive from seven to eight months. As far as the professional career of Dr Ajmal is concerned, he remained the principal of Islamia College and VC of Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan before being appointed in 2009 as the first VC of ICU. Except for being involved in a couple of court cases regarding the ICU property and faced with the seniority-related complaints of some teachers, Dr Ajmal had not annoyed anyone to the degree of provoking his own kidnapping. We hope that the governor, ex officio chancellor of all KP universities, will leave no stone unturned in securing the VC’s early release. -statesman