PESHAWAR: In light of the services rendered by Islamia College University Peshawar Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Ajmal Khan in the field of education, President Mamnoon Hussain has awarded him the Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
The award was conferred upon the professor on the 69th Independence Day. Ajmal remained in captivity of the Taliban for four years during which he taught the children of his captors.
He started off as a lecturer at Edwardes College Peshawar. He also remained associated with the University of Peshawar as deputy provost, provost and registrar and was later appointed as the principal of ICU. He even served at Gomal University, DI Khan as the VC and when the ICU became a university in 2008, he returned as its first VC. He is also a cousin of Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.
On September 8, 2010 he was en route to his office when he was kidnapped. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility of the abduction and demanded a ransom worth Rs500 million and the release of dozens of militants against his release. Several delegations were sent to negotiate freedom. However, their efforts were of no avail. The TTP also issued numerous video messages in which he urged the government to work towards his safe release. Four years later, he was released and he resumed his duties on September 9, 2014. The details of his release have yet to be known.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ajmal said he is grateful to the government for honouring him. The professor said he has dedicated his entire life to the field and will continue to work with the same zeal.
ICU Pashto department Chairman Abaseen Yousafzai said the award is not only an honour for Ajmal but for all teachers across the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2015.