PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman on Saturday reiterated that the prestigious Edwardes College, Peshawar, would remain the property of the Church Diocese and that any propaganda that it was being nationalised was meant to bring a bad name to the country.
Addressing a news conference, the governor said the social media campaign communalising the issue to defame Pakistan and target him was baseless and without any foundation.
He said he had withdrawn calling the Board of Governors’ meeting in deference to the objections of the college principal.
Mr Farman said he had declined to meet the protesting students and teachers over similar objections.
He said he had requested a Christian MNA of the party to intercede and resolve the issue between principal Nayyar Fardows and the faculty but a legal notice was served on the parliamentarian instead.
The governor said as the standing committee of the provincial assembly took up the issue, the principal filed a petition with the court making him (governor), too, a respondent.
Says propaganda about college’s nationalisation meant to defame country
“I provided all documents to the court through my lawyer and the court gave its verdict. The principal lost the review petition as well,” he said.
The governor said he had convened a meeting of the board of governors on Monday to examine the situation and take decisions.
He alleged that the principal first appointed his daughter, son and son-in-law to the college and then granted them study leaves.
“They are now spreading disinformation in the United Kingdom on different forums for serve own interest. They are fanning communal hatred by twisting realities just for own gains,” he said.
Mr Farman said while Pakistan was fighting the FATF case, a campaign was launched against it.
Referring to an observation of the high court in its verdict, the governor said many students had left the college due to the deteriorating quality of education though the college was once one of the best in the province. He said the Edwardes College had served the education sector in the region during the last one century.
“We will strive to restore the college’s glory,” he said.
The governor said a misleading propaganda was launched on social media, while efforts were made to malign the country’s international image.
He said the Christian community was the owner of the college’s property, which won’t be transferred to anyone else.
The governor expressed concerns about the college’s declining educational standards during the term of the incumbent principal, Nayyer Fardows.
“Instead of improving educational standard of the college, the principal committed irregularities for personal interest,” he alleged.
The governor said the Edwardes College was a historic educational institution, so all efforts would be made to protect its glorious status. He said the court had issued directions for seriously looking into the matter to restore the trust of parents and its past glory.
The governor said students and teachers had serious reservations and that principal had appointed three members of family in the college.
“I told students that since I am irrelevant in the matter, I can’t intervene,” he said.
The governor said the report of an official committee examining the college’s affairs would be made public if it was deemed necessary and that the committee’s recommendations would be considered.
The college remained closed for over two weeks prompting students to stage protest demonstrations outside the college building on a daily basis demanding the removal of the principal.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019