PESHAWAR: The management of Islamia College University (ICU) Peshawar received a go ahead from Civil Secretariat Fata to establish its campuses in Kurram Agency and other tribal agencies.

The decision was taken in a meeting between ICU Vice-chancellor Mohammad Ajmal Khan and Fata Additional Chief Secretary Mohammad Azam Khan here on Wednesday, said a handout.

In the first phase, the university would open two campuses in Kurram Agency, one each in Parachinar and Sadda.

The meeting also discussed establishment of Islamia College in Mirali, North Waziristan Agency where local people had already donated 600-kanal land for the purpose. The university would start work on campuses in Kurram Agency on war footing.

ICU had worked out a plan to establish campuses in Kurram Agency in early 2010 and the incumbent vice-chancellor had visited Parachinar in an airplane because of the prolonged blockade of the area. Prospectuses for admission at Parachinar campus were also issued while a building for Sadda campus was also identified.

However, the project was put on the back burner owing to laid back attitude of the officials in Civil Secretariat Fata. They were also opposed to provide an abandoned building for the proposed campus in Sadda. People in Kurram Agency had donated over 50 acres of land near Parachinar for the campus and staff was also hired.

Later on Ajmal Khan was kidnapped from Peshawar in September 2010. He remained in the captivity of Taliban for almost four years. The project could not take off in the absence of Ajmal Khan.

During the meeting, the Fata additional additional chief secretary informed the ICU vice-chancellor that government was giving top priority to education in Fata and that’s why education sector had been the focus of interest of the Fata planners who had allocated huge funds in the current budget to ensure provision of quality education to the tribal people.

The handout said that a number of issues related to ensuring quality education in Fata and further enhancing the education standards in the region came under discussion in the meeting with particular reference to establishment of Islamia College University campuses in the tribal belt. It said that promotion of quality education in Fata could ensure prosperity and development in the region.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2014