PESHAWAR: The historic Edwardes College Peshawar has turned into a centre of controversy as a result of what many call the derogatory language used by PTI chief Imran Khan in his address to the students against his political opponents at the educational institution.
To give a tit-for-tat response to PTI chief, provincial president of Awami National Party Aimal Wali Khan has also announced to visit the historic institution on October 4 and deliver a speech on different topics. He will be accompanied by ANP stalwart Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour.
The old students of the historic Edwardes College Peshawar, faculty members and parents of students have expressed displeasure over what they call the indecent remarks used by Imran Khan against his opponents in his address to the students.
Imran Khan was supposed to talk to the students about leadership, but instead he used slang words and derogatory language against his political opponents including JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan.
Aimal Wali to deliver speech in the college in a tit-for-tat move
“As an old Edwardian I wish Dr Phil Edmonds was alive and still the principal of Edwardes College Peshawar to say no to making the college a political arena,” former inspector general of Frontier Constabulary Abdul Majeed Khan Marwat expressed in his tweet while commenting on the visit of Imran Khan to the college.
Dr Phil Edmonds, who belonged to England and served as the most prominent principal of Edwardes College Peshawar from 1955 to 1978, was known for maintaining discipline in the college.
“Hello students. Insha Allah I’II be visiting Edwardes College on 4th October 11am and my topic of discussion will be “ Constitutional supremacy, students politics, provincial autonomy, terrorism and endangered wildlife,” Aimal Wali Khan announced from his twitter account on Saturday.
In a chat with the officials in Edwardes College administration, faculty members and students, it couldn’t be determined who had invited Imran Khan to deliver his controversial speech to the students.
An official in the college administration told Dawn that neither they had invited Imran Khan nor Aimal Wali Khan to address the students. “As you know we are academicians and have no affiliation with any political party,” he said when asked how Imran Khan came and addressed the students.
He said that actually the ministry of higher education made a decision about Imran Khan’s address to the students. He said that the use of indecent words by Imran Khan in his speech disturbed the environment of Edwards College as a debate started in the social circle and on social media about using the educational institutes for political gains.
“I came to know about the visit of Aimal Wali Khan to the college through social media. Officially no correspondence has taken place in this connection,” said the official.
The vice-chancellor of a public sector university told Dawn that the topic of the speech of Imran Khan was leadership, however, the language he used did not suit the academic environment.
“What the students will think about the country’s leadership if they see a popular leader like Imran Khan using derogatory language against the other leaders of the country,” he said.
A faculty member of the college told Dawn that teachers were not taken into confidence about Imran Khan’s visit and address. He said that teachers came to know about his arrival when arrangements were being made in the college.
He said that a day before the function, they received a message from the principal through mobile phones. “Dear faculty you are directed to remain at college campus from 8am to 5pm on Friday in connection to an important event,” he said quoting the message.
“What type of benefit or education has been given by Imran Khan to the students in his address? Was there anything new in his speech? His speech was the same he had been delivering at public rallies after his ouster from the government,” said the teacher.
He said that the time of students was very precious as the Bachelor of Studies (BS) examinations were scheduled to start in the third week of the current month.
Sources in Edwards College told Dawn that students were also not happy with the visit of the political leaders to the college. They said that students also conveyed to the college administration in writing that if the visits of political leaders were not stopped immediately, they would stage protest demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022