Peshawar bishop seeks Edwardes College control by Dec 25

Updated November 19, 2019

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The Board of Governors of the Edwardes College met here on Monday to examine the affairs of the prestigious educational institution as the bishop of Peshawar Church Diocese warned the governor against interfering in its matters. — Dawn/File
The Board of Governors of the Edwardes College met here on Monday to examine the affairs of the prestigious educational institution as the bishop of Peshawar Church Diocese warned the governor against interfering in its matters. — Dawn/File

PESHAWAR: The Board of Governors of the Edwardes College met here on Monday to examine the affairs of the prestigious educational institution as the bishop of Peshawar Church Diocese warned the governor against interfering in its matters.

The board members representing the Christian community boycotted the meeting declaring it illegal.

In a related development, Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peter told a presser that the government was directly intervening in the college’s affairs.

He warned that if the relevant departments didn’t hand over the college’s control to Christians before Dec 25, the Christian community would launch a protest campaign for the purpose.

The BoG met in light of the decision of the Peshawar High Court to discuss ways to steer the college out of crisis.

The meeting was chaired by Governor Shah Farman, said a statement issued here. The governor said the government would protect the interests of parents and students and the glory of the Edwardes College.

Warn governor against interfering in its affairs

The meeting decided to form a three-member committee to be headed by the pro-vice chancellor of the Peshawar University to look into progress on 10 years development plan of Edwardes College and submit its report within 10 days in the next meeting.

The board also decided to constitute another committee consisting of higher education, law, establishment and finance departments to review the rules and regulations, administrative and legal structure and act of the Edwardes College.

It decided to follow the decision of the Peshawar High Court and its spirit for making rules, steps and amendments to the act if required.

The governor also directed the officials concerned to study all documents thoroughly before putting in the BoG meeting for approval.

On the other side, Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peter claimed that the board of Edwardes College had been constituted by following the constitution of the country and in light of higher court judgment of 2016.

He said the high court had given its verdict in favour of Christians and it was also endorsed by the Supreme Court in 2019 saying the government had no right to oppose it.

Mr Peter said the KP governor had re-constituted the board, which was tantamount to interfering in the college’s affairs.

He said the Edwardes College was still in the government’s control, which was against the preamble and articles 20 and 36 of the Constitution.

The Christian leader said the Constitution granted the protection of Christian community in the country, so the government should ensure its implementation.

He asked the government and governor to give the Christian community the legitimate right to keep intact the good image of Pakistan globally.

Mr Peter warned that if the government failed to do its duties, then the Christian community will launch an anti-government movement by setting up protest and hunger camps across the country. He said the government and Governor’s House were openly violating the Constitution of the country and were pushing the country into Financial Action Task Force by their errors and immature steps.

The Christian leader said the government had tried to make scapegoat the college principal and his family members to hide blunders and intended to go against the superior courts verdict.

He alleged that a campaign had been launched against him and opened a front against the Diocese Church.

He added that the baseless allegations were leveled against the family of the college principal and severe warnings, which had forced him (principal) and rest of family members to leave the country.

He alleged the Church had approached the court after increasing influence and intervention of provincial government and the governor into affairs of the college.

The Christian leader said the prime minister, president, governor and chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already been informed about the current situation through proper channel

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2019