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November 15, 2019

Nationalisation of Edwardes College protested


November 15, 2019

Islamabad :A protest was staged by the Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) in front of Islamabad Press Club (NPC) on Thursday, to highlight their concerns and raise their voice against what they called the unlawful involvement and intervention by the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa Governor Shah Farman towards nationalising Edwardes College Peshawar.

The PIL Chairman, Sajid Ishaq, said that the Edwardes College is one of country’s oldest and historic educational institutions established back in the year 1900 by the Church Mission Society (CMS). PIL, a socio-political movement, condemned the unlawful involvement and interference of the Governor of KPK and the PTI Government for initiating such illegal steps.

He said that it is a private college and is registered with Higher Education Regulatory Authority (HERA) of KPK and it has never been nationalized and is owned by Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan. He pointed out that the Prime Minister Imran Khan publically committed with the Christian Community of Pakistan in 2014 that Edwardes College shall remain with the Church.

The PIL Chairman said that the KPK Governor and all those elements who are unlawfully interfering are trying to grab the property and the precious assets from the Church. He also condemned the complete silence of the Federal Government on this very important matter which is creating chaos among the Christian Community worldwide and bringing a bad name to the PTI government among Church leaders, Bishops, Pakistani Christians as well as Christians living in other countries.

Sajid Ishaq said that the Governor KPK Shah Farman has called a meeting of the Board of Governors of Edwards College Peshawar on November 18 in spite of the fact that question related to the future of Edwards College is ‘subjudice’ as the case is before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“In these circumstances it would be appropriate that for fair exercise of authority and to ensure better transparency, it would be lawful if the matter be left to the decision of the Honorable Appex Court of Pakistan,” the PIL Chairman said.

He further said that the attention of the international communities, including foreign legislators and the diplomats also is focused on this issue, so it would be good for Pakistan if Governor KPK Shah Farman should postpone the meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) on November 18, 2019 because the matter in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He also demanded that the Edwardes College should remain under the administrative control of the Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan, without any illegal interference from Governor and Government of KPK and the Governor and Government of KPK should not destroy the Christian character of the college and refrain from violating article 20 and 36 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

He also demanded that immediate security should be provided to the Principal of Edwardes College Peshawar and his family against all types of persecution because in the past the former Principals of the college have suffered similar situations on one or the other pretext.

Ms Nazia Ansari, the Secretary General of PIL said that it was a matter of grave concern that Governor KPK Shah Farman was instigating certain Faculty members of Edwardes College to provoke the students towards violence and religious extremism and neither the Federal Government nor the law enforcement agencies were taking any action against those faculty members who are impeding regular functioning of the College and wasting precious time of the students. She urged the president, prime minister, chief of army staff and chief justice of Pakistan to take immediate steps to bring the trouble makers to task and ensure that property of the Religious Minorities remains safe from land grabbers.

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