Kidnapped VC reaches home after 8 months
Kohat, June 23: The vice-chancellor of Kohat University of Science and Technology, Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel, was released on Tuesday after successful negotiations with Taliban, who kept him in captivity for eight months, sources said.
The educationist was kidnapped from Akhorwal area in Darra Adamkhel on November 6, 2009.
The Tariq Afridi group of Taliban had claimed responsibility for his kidnapping. He was going to Peshawar from Kohat along with his friend when armed men intercepted his official vehicle and whisked him away to unknown location.
Sources said that Taliban had agreed to release him in exchange of 60 militants, who were in the custody of armed forces. But after sometime Taliban refused to release the vice-chancellor, alleging that 27 of the said militants were killed in the custody of army and their bodies were thrown in a graveyard in Darra Adamkhel.
Dr Kakakehl was first shifted to lower Orakzai Agency reportedly from where Taliban took him to Dabori area in upper Orakzai Agency. The area remained under heavy aerial strikes during the past several months.
It is learned that Taliban had been demanding Rs50 million and release of four top commanders to free the vice-chancellor. According to unconfirmed reports government had released three commanders including a close aide of Tariq Afridi. The commander, who belongs to Punjab, was arrested five months ago in Hayatabad, Peshawar.
"The vice-chancellor has been released in the same area from where he was kidnapped. I have shifted him to the Governor's House safely and now he is with his family after eight months," said Kohat commissioner, when contacted.
To a query, he said that government had neither released any militant nor paid ransom for his release. Immense pressure was put on Taliban to free him unconditionally, he added.Meanwhile, the tribal lashkar and police arrested ringleader of a group of professional kidnappers during operation in Ghurzandi area on the second consecutive day on Tuesday.
The armed lashkar and police raided a house in Ghurzandi area and captured Gul Waray, a resident of Feroze Khel in Orakzai Agency. However, the second kidnapped person could not be recovered for whose recovery the joint action was in progress till filing of this report.
The armed tribesmen released one of the kidnapped persons from the clutches of the abductors and arrested six members of the gang from Lachi on Sunday last.
Two persons, Fazal Kareem and Waqas, belonging to Nasrat Khel, were kidnapped by a criminal gang on May 1. The armed lashkar from Bagato area of Hangu got information that they had been kidnapped by criminals, who were hiding in Ghorzandi area in Kohat. During exchange of fire one of the kidnapped perosns, Fazal Kareem, managed to escape from the custody of the kidnappers.
Meanwhile, 13 wanted men including vice president of Ghazi Rajab Khan Organisation surrendered to police in Muhammadzai village on Tuesday.
The men belonging to the militant organisation were wanted by police in murder, kidnappings and other criminal cases. Police had been conducting raids at their houses for their arrest for the last several months but they managed to escape. However the elders of the organisation forced them to surrender to avoid operation in the area. Dawn
Prof Dr Sultan set to become KMC principal
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has finally decided to replace Khyber Medical College principal Prof Dr Nargis Parveen with the senior most physician and widely respected teacher, Prof Dr Sultan Mahmud.
Sources at the health secretariat said a decision about appointing Prof Dr Sultan Mahmud as principal of KMC had been made and the summary sent to Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti.
According to sources, the decision was made after growing complaints by the college faculty members as well as students against the alleged poor administrative performance of Dr Nargis Parveen.
"Standard of the college was falling with the each passing day. The faculty members as well as students were worried about the future of this prestigious medical institution," said an official at the health secretariat.
He said the decision to find a suitable replacement took several days to managers of the health department and finally all were unanimous on Prof Dr Sultan Mahmud.The official said Prof Dr Sultan Mahmud, who is the senior most faculty member (BP-21) was appointed the new KMC principal with consensus among all the officials. He also said Prof Dr Sultan Mahmud would face a lot of problems in bringing the college out of present crisis.
According to the officials, Prof Dr Sultan even deserved the post before appointment of Dr Nargas as principal of the college, which was denied to him due to reasons best known to the provincial government.
Before his nomination, the sources said, Prof Dr Sultan was properly consulted who willingly accepted the post and promised he would make every effort for restoring previous glory to the college.
Prof Dr Sultan has a rich medical background. He did his MBBS from KMC in 1975, and was declared the best graduate of the college. He was rewarded gold medal. After passing his MBBS with distinction, Dr Sultan later went to the United Kingdom and did his MRCP and FRCP. Prof Dr Sultan is at present head of medicine department at the KMC and Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) Peshawar.
He has served as education director for the KMC for 12 years and was the first dean of faculty of medicine and allied sciences of the Khyber Medical University (KMU).When reached by telephone, Prof Dr Sultan said he had heard about his new assignment but personally he had not received any official notification yet.
Asked about his priorities after appointment as KMC principal, he said, "My first priority will be restoring old glory to this prestigious institution which unfortunately has been lost." Prof Dr Sultan said he would bring reforms in all sectors of the college, particularly in its education system.
Comsats institute awards scholarship to nine students
Islamabad: Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) awarded scholarships to nine deserving students in the ceremony organised here on Tuesday.
The students who received scholarships were on merit but could not pay their fee due to their financial constraints.
The scholarships would cover the four semesters of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and six semesters of Bachelors in Business Administration while the fee of the rest of the course would be paid according to the students' performance.
This is the first cycle of scholarships granted to students paid under 'endowment fund', which was announced during the convocation ceremony of CIIT in April 2009 where Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani announced Rs10 million for the fund, which is never received.
According to the CIIT officials they made repeated requests to the PM reminding him of his announcement but all went in vain.
Later on in 2010, a letter has been written to President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the Patron of CIIT, to grant Rs100 million for the endowment fund but this effort also didn't prove to be fruitful as the President again referred to PM who again asked them to seek fund from Ministry of Science and Technology.
Now the endowment fund is raised by the donations from higher authorities which granted scholarships to nine students this year and will increase the number of students every year.
The students who received scholarships include Sultan Rahim (Islamabad), Asman Hayat (Islamabad), Zia-ul-Islam (Wah Cantt), Hamid Ali Shah (Abbottabad), Sadaat Ilyas (Abbottabad), Maira Kanwal (Attock), Farhan Ali (Lahore), Sarah Khan (Lahore) and Iqra Asif (Sahiwal).
The story of a courageous young lady Asma Hayat is thought provoking for the people sitting in the power corridors. The convincingly deserving girl lost her father in a bomb blast at D.I. Khan followed by death of her brother who died in a road accident only a year after her father.
Hayat is a student of BBA and intend to specialise in Finance Management in future. "I would have been unable to continue my education and fulfil my dream if I was not granted with this scholarship," she said.
According to her there were number of deserving students like her who if provided with proper opportunities could play tremendous role in country's progress.
Comsats Executive Director Dr Imtinan Elahi emphasised the need to expand the scheme to an extent where each student in need of financial assistance could take benefit from this scholarship. "We are planning to increase the number of students awarded scholarships every year where the number would hopefully reach 15,000 in 2016," he said.
CIIT Registrar Dr Arshad S Malik said that besides endowment funds they were having many other projects where students were provided with free education. "We are providing free education to the 45 students of D.I Khan in which we are not receiving a single penny either from the government or from the student," he said.
He said that they had also announced free education for the 125 students of Balochistan however only 10 students availed this opportunity. Moreover they are providing education on subsidised rates to the hundreds of students belonging to Fata or Fana.
Kohat varsity fails to provide roll number slips
Parachinar: Several students of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) from Kurram Agency could not appear in the fist paper on Tuesday as the Kohat University failed to provide them roll number slips in time, sources said.
The sources said BA and BSc examinations got underway and first paper - Islamiyat (compulsory) - was scheduled for Tuesday but several students were not allowed to enter the examination hall because they did not have the roll number slips.
The students made pleas to the examination staff that it was not their fault but to no avail.The affected students later staged a protest to voice their resentment at the negligence on the part of the Kohat University staff and demanded action by the higher authorities.
Some of the students, Abdullah, Javed and Mohammad Ghulam who missed the paper said that the Kohat University was meting step motherly treatment to the students from Kurram Agency.
The aggrieved students demanded of the university authorities to provide them roll number slips so that they could appear in the remaining papers. They also requested the governor and other relevant authorities to take action against the erring staff of the examination department of the university whose irresponsible action caused them academic loss. The news
QAU ready to affiliate Islamabad colleges, says VC
Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is ready to affiliate Islamabad colleges, said QAU Vice Chancellor Masoom Yasinzai on Tuesday.
Talking to this news agency, he said Leader of the House in Senate Syed Nayar Hussain Bukhari some months ago had requested to affiliate the Islamabad colleges with the university.
The university is committed to promote quality education, therefore, it wants to produce quality students in these colleges, he said.
The major motive of the university to affiliate these colleges is to produce quality stuff for itself, he added.
For this purpose, the university doesn't need money as colleges bear the expenses themselves, he said.
He said the university was determined to bring these colleges under its umbrella very soon and by doing so the education standard of these colleges would be elevated to higher level as QAU is a leading university of the country.
Initially, QAU offered degree programmes in MPhil and PhD but later it launched Masters level courses in 1970.
While in 2010 the inclusion of BS programme in the charter has been planned, he said.
The university has already geared up to start BS (4 years) programme in a few disciplines from fall semester 2010.
He urged the government to release funds to complete some of the important projects that were pending due to lack of sufficient funds.
Number of Baloch students doubled: The QAU has doubled the number seats for Baloch students, said QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Masoom Yasinzai during a meeting with Baloch students on Tuesday.
Resources don't matter nowadays as those who have knowledge can rule the world, he added.
International Islamic University in association with Dawa Academy randomly selected a delegation of around 100 students from far-flung areas of Balochistan.
The aim of the selection of students from Balochistan was to impart them leadership and decision making training. app
Academia-industry linkage vital to boost economy
Islamabad: A well-organized academia-industry linkage can better help generate employment opportunities and boost national economy as well, said Dr. Aftab Ahmad, Director Foundation University Institute of Engineering and Management Sciences (FUIEMS) here on Tuesday.
In an interview, he said research in highest learning institutes is now not a choice but a compulsion to walk with fast progressing nations at the global level.
"The Foundation University aspires to establish itself as an esteemed research and teaching educational institution, committed to intellectual leadership through academic excellence," he said. Dr. Aftab said business giants entirely depend upon research activities that help promote their businesses, but there should be research-oriented minds to cash in on their growing requirements.
"The universities have become centres of excellence for research activities in the developed countries where private companies invest millions of dollars for technological advancements," he said.
The institute was established in December 1998 to provide high quality education that conforms to the international standards. Following the grant of charter to the Foundation University, FUIEMS became one of its constituent institutes in October 2002.
Dr. Aftab Ahmad said given the growing challenges in the field of engineering they offer various programmes such as Bachelor of Computer in Software Engineering, Bachelor in Telecommunication Engineering, Master of Business Administration and PhD in Computer and Management Sciences.
He said the Foundation University aims at achieving a prominent status at the national and international level by creating a dynamic educational environment for teaching, learning, research, innovation, leadership and public service.
The institute has 32 permanent and 40 visiting faculty members while number of students in MBA courses is 263, MPhil 31 and PhD is 31. A total of 633 students are studying in various courses including BSCE, BSSE, BSCS, BSTE and BBA. Dr. Aftab Ahmad said there is a great potential in the field of information technology but, unfortunately, most of the universities are not producing competent graduates that can grab the opportunities at the international level.
He said they have succeeded in creating an environment in a short span of time for a broad based education by enabling the students to understand complexities of the 21st Century. "We are focusing on dispassionate, rigorous and honest intellectual inquiry as core of academic traditions and trying to depict its true reflection in the research, scholarship, education and management," he said.
Dr. Aftab Ahmad said Pakistan lags nothing in terms of talent and youth of this country can compete at any level but there is a need to provide them with proper opportunities. The news
Student kidnapped for ransom
Rawalpindi: The kidnappers demanded Rs2 million as ransom for the safe release of a student kidnapped by a gang of five, police said on Tuesday adding that two women were among the kidnappers.
The 16-year-old Muhammad Afaq, a 10th class student, was kidnapped by a gang of five persons, police said and added two of the kidnappers were women.
Muhammad Taj, the father of the victim, complained to the RA Bazar police that five persons, including two women, entered his house and took away his son. Later the kidnappers telephoned the boy's parents and demanded the ransom amount for the safe release of the boy.
Meanwhile, in another similar incident a young boy was kidnapped by three persons who were posing themselves as the officials of the Crime Investigation Department (CID, from Westridge, police said.
Mukhtar Ahmed, complained to the police that he along with his nephew Khuram was sitting at his shop when a vehicle with blaring blue revolving light on its rooftop stopped in front of his shop. Three of the occupants of the vehicle carrying handcuffs got out and walked into his shop.
The men dragged his nephew Khuram into their vehicle and also snatched cell phones from all the people sitting at the shop and drove away. Till the filing of this report there was no clue to the kidnappers nor the fate of the victim was clear. Dawn
PAL working for promotion of languages
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) is working for the promotion of not only Urdu literature but also all Pakistani languages and it has published selection of literature in Gujrati language for the first time in the history of Pakistani literature.
This is said by Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Fakhar Zaman on the occasion of launching of book titled 'Intekhab Pakistani Adab 1947-2008' in Gujrati language. He further said that all Pakistani languages are equally important but Gujrati language has special significance since it is the mother tongue of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. One purpose of publication of this selection is to cover up the shortage of literary books in Gujrati language.
He said that Gujrati language is one of the oldest languages.
The same case is with its literature. "If we go through Gujrati literature and its history we find it exemplary and refined reflecting the lives and concern of the common folk that is the reason, we felt necessary to prepare a selection of this literature." He said that this book contains almost all important writers of Gujrati literature like Munshi Dhorajawe, Madhosh Tirmazi, Deepak Bardolekar, Nazar Ghouri, Fazal Jam Nagri, Dilkash Gondalvi, Ahmed Batasi, Maqbool Cachhi, Ismaeel Darvaish, Fakhar Matari, Noor Muhammad Jamal Noor Memon, Muhammad Sadiq, Musa Bhai Memon and Umar Jeet Puri. The book includes short stories, poems, 'ghazals', 'geets' and 'naat' etc. He said that compiler of this book is Khatari Asmat Ali Patel who also wrote a detail critical essay on Gujrati literature. Saeeda Durrani managed the production of book. PAL is also publishing selection form literature of different Pakistani languages. The news
New poetry collection launched
Islamabad: Interest in Urdu poetry is reflected in the profusion of books of verses that are flooding the market every other day.
Hardly a week goes by when a dozen or so new poetry collections do not come out. But are those who write verses genuine poets?
This question engaged a number of poets who gathered at the National Language Authority (NLA) to launch Dr Kabir Athar's new poetry collection Hijr (pangs of separation) on Monday. Dr Athar is an orthopaedic surgeon from Rahim Yar Khan.
In the beginning, Mehboob Khazan's pithy verses Baat yeh hai ke aadmi shayer ya to hota hai ya nahin hota (The thing is a person is either a poet or not) was quoted.
Syed Ziauddin Naeem observed that these days the public sees a lot of publications professing to be poetry which are in reality an insult to this genre of literature and bereft of poetical grace. The reason is that few poets nowadays feel happy to submit themselves to the faculty of literary.
Poetry does not mean addition of new words, said the critics. Dawn