PESHAWAR, Dec 14: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is ready to accept genuine demands of abductors for safe release of Islamia College University (ICU) vice-chancellor Prof Ajmal Khan, said Provincial Minister for Information and Culture Mian Iftikhar Hussain while addressing a function in historical Khyber Union Hall of the university on Friday.

The VC was kidnapped from Professors Colony on University Road in September 2010. Mr Hussain said that Prof Khan was the benefactor of this land and strenuous efforts were underway for his safe release.

“We love peace and hate violence, and it is our utmost desire to see book and pen instead of gun in the hands of our new generation,” he said.

The minister also announced that the provincial government had declared ICU Peshawar as national heritage in order to protect its glory and historical status. He also directed for restoration of historical architecture and grandeur of the university.

Besides, the minister inaugurated Mian Rashid Hussain Shaheed Block and Teachers Students Centre in Islamic Collegiate Peshawar. He also attended a Christmas function and cut the cake.

Mr Hussain said that the ICU was the old and historical institution of the province and its outgoing students were playing their active role in different fields. He said that the quality education system of the ICU instilled confidence in its students and that was the reason that they had the capability to shine in any field.

The government, he said, had introduced a lot of reforms in education sector and established a number of universities, colleges and schools in the province to provide educational facilities to the new generation.

ICU vice-chancellor Dr Noor Jehan, Pashto Department chairman Abasin Yousafzai and Archeology Department director Dr Shah Nazar also spoke on the occasion.

The Islamia College was founded by Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum in 1913. Founder of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah visited this college in 1936, 1945 and 1948. Mr Jinnah, who became lifelong honorary member of the Khyber Union ICP in 1936, made the college one of the heirs of his property in 1939. The Quaid Trust later on paid an amount of Rs10.81 million in different installments to the college.