Peshawar: Teacher threatened by Taliban
PESHAWAR: A senior professor of Islamia College University has sought police protection after receiving threats from Taliban militants. “I am taking care of myself,” Professor Dr Naeem Khalid, chairman Department of Physics, told Dawn when asked about the threats he had been receiving.
He didn`t elaborate but his colleagues said that Dr Naeem had recently confronted two bearded men riding a motorcycle near the office of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board after which he had requested the ICU vice-chancellor to provide him security.
Sources said that the two men had asked another teacher to identify Dr Naeem Khalid, who was incidentally present there. Later, the professor conveyed the message to Dr Khalid and accompanied him to the ICU.
Dr Khalid, who is also director admission ICU, wrote to the acting VC about the incident and requested him to make arrangements for his security. The professor also contacted his relatives in his native Bannu district to confirm the threats and was ultimately told that Taliban wanted to kidnap him.
On Sept 7, 2010, militants kidnapped ICU VC Mohammad Ajmal Khan while he was about to leave home for office in Professor Colony located near the University of Peshawar. Ajmal Khan is still in Taliban`s captivity. In June last year, Taliban released vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology after keeping him for six and a half months.
“Being a professor of physics, the militants may be wanting to use him for bomb-making,” said sources at the ICU. They said that the kidnapping of two vice-chancellors by Taliban had already sent a wave of fear among the varsity teachers.
The Campus Police SHO, Abdus Salam Khalid, told Dawn that they had already enhanced the security of high-ranking officers of the University of Peshawar, Agricultural University, University of Engineering and Technology and the ICU in view of the deteriorating law and order situation.
“We have received a letter from the ICU VC regarding threats to Prof Naeem Khalid and we will provide him security,” he said. The kidnapping of Ajmal Khan had alerted the police and we were trying our level best to prevent any such incident in the future, he added.
He said that all the officials were being provided security whenever they get out of the campus in connection with their official meetings and engagements.
Due to shortage of staff, we cannot provide permanent guards to Dr Naeem Khalid but still we can provide him with security whenever he gets out of the campus, he said.
However, sources in ICU said that there was no security for the professor at the department. “The professor remains busy in hectic work due to his being director admissions and he must be provided adequate protection so he can work fearlessly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the professor says that he has restricted his activities and he stays home most of the time after office hours.