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PESHAWAR: The local Christian community on Thursday criticised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for advertising the post of the Edwardes College, Peshawar principal declaring the move a violation of the college rules.

Insisting the post can’t be filled without the consent of Bishop of Diocese of Peshawar Church, the community demanded the immediate withdrawal of the said advertisement and threatened agitation on the matter.

Coordinator Diocese of Church Peshawar, Church of Pakistan Hayat Bhatti told a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club that the advertising of the principal’s post not only violated the constitution of the Edwardes College but it was an injustice to the Christian community as well. He said the provincial government had already tried to fill the post through the higher education department but had to retreat at the protest of Christians.

Bhatti said the college’s constitution authorised only the Bishop Diocese of Church, Church of Pakistan to appoint the principal but some members of the search committee and board of governors tried to govern the college’s affairs by curtailing the power and role of Diocese of Church Peshawar. He said the college caretaking the administration had made many changes in the present prospectus of Edwardes College Peshawar, including removal of the mission statement, which was meant to encourage spiritual faithfulness and interfaith harmony.

Accompanied by Christian leaders, Bhatti declared the said changes ‘totally wrong, unjustified and unacceptable to our community.’ “It’s an attempt to do away with the decades-old history of the college, which hurts the Christian community,” he said.

Bhatti said the Christian community didn’t want to confront the government and only wanted amicable resolution of the matter in line with the constitution of the college. He appealed to the provincial governor and chief minister to step in without delay and said if that didn’t happen, then Christians would take to the streets. — Bureau Report

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2014