KP govt says Edwardes College to retain Christian identity


–Edwardes College’s principal will always be appointed from Christian community 


PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government on Friday took a U-turn on its earlier decision to nationalise the Edwardes College after strong protests by the Christian community across the country.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehmood Khan at the Governor’s House.

A consensus was developed in the meeting — attended by KP Governor Farman Shah, MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Dr Shoaib Suddal — that Edwardes College’s property will not be transferred to anyone in the name of nationalisation.

They said the college should remain in the hands of the Christian community and their identity should not be disturbed at any level. The principal of the college would always be appointed from the Christian community, the meeting decided.

Defending the move to put the college under the government control, Shah said the purpose was to retain the glory and historic identity of Edwardes College.

The Peshawar High Court’s decision that the Church lacked legal authority over the institute came under intense criticism from the religious and civil society members of the Christian community.

In a press conference, National Council of Churches-Pakistan President Rt Rev Bishop Dr Azad Marshall had also demanded the return of the Edwardes College to the church.

“Edwardes College has been the pride of the Pakistani Christian community. We hope that the prime minister will consider the services of our people in the education sector and help us in restoring the lost glory of the institute. I believe the church can turnaround Edwardes College into another great institution like the Forman Christian College (FCC) in Lahore,” he had said, adding that it would also help in boosting the confidence of the Christian community in the Pakistani state.