PESHAWAR: Mohibullah, the driver of former Vice-Chancellor Islamia College University (ICU) Peshawar, Professor Ajmal Khan, was greeted Saturday evening by his relatives at home, following his release by the Pakistani Taliban after almost two years of captivity when both were kidnapped on gun point on September 7, 2010 from Professor Colony in University of Peshawar.
Though the ICU Vice Chancellor Ajmal Khan’s appeal for release still remained unheard, as the government seemed unwilling to meet Taliban’s demands in return for his freedom, Mohibullah, the TTP spokesman Ihsanulla Ihsan said had been released in exchange for Taliban prisoners.
Speaking to Dawn.com after his release in Peshawar Mohibullah said; “I don’t know about their demands and the reason why I had been set free but I am really happy to be back home and pray for the professor’s early release.”
To a query if they were kept in Waziristan by the Taliban he said: “I don’t know where they were keeping us, we were moved from one dark room to another, blindfolded so its really difficult to tell the exact place but I can say for sure it was a really cold place, the weather was very cold even in the month of June and July and it was very chilly a few days back.”
“No we were never forced to do anything, we were on our own, nothing unusual but yes the armed Taliban did keep us under watch,” he replied, when asked if they were ever tortured in captivity.
“Ajmal sahib is alright, we had been together all the time in captivity. I was separated from him three days back and on Saturday they put me on a vehicle and in the evening I was freed near Scheme Chowk on Kohat Road from where I called my brother and now I am home,” he said while narrating his journey to freedom.
In a video released on August 31by the Hakimullah Mehsud led TTP, the Vice Chancellor of Islamia College University Ajmal Khan had appealed for the fourth time to the vice chancellors of the public sector universities and student organisations to pressure the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for his release.
In a six-minute videotape in both Pashto and Urdu language, Professor Ajmal Khan attired in white dress and wearing a white cap, had complained that the KPK government had failed to do anything practical for his release, in terms of meeting TTP demands.
The TTP claiming responsibility for Ajmal Khan’s kidnapping had made demands from the KPK government for his release but he still remained in captivity for almost two years, proving the demands seemed to be unacceptable to the KPK government.
In his video message, emotionally charged Professor Ajmal had appealed to vice chancellors Dr Ihsan Ali, Dr Qibla Ayaz, Dr Rasool Jan and students’ organisations to pressure the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to accept the militants’ demands, which he said were not beyond reach.
Professor Ajmal Khan is a close relative of Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan whose party is ruling the province of KPK with the coalition partners and had been a staunch supporter of the war against militancy, and is on the hit list of the TTP.
The TTP had threatened to kill the professor if the government failed to accept their demands and last year’s deadline had been extended by the militants after an appeal by the vice-chancellor’s family and requests by religious scholars hailing from Ajmal Khan’s native Charsadda district.