–BoG appoints Prof Muhammad Zaki as Acting Principal in place of Brig (r) Nayyar Fardows
–Rift between KP govt and Diocese of Peshawar over prestigious college has destroyed reputation of institute
PESHAWAR: The Edwardes College Peshawar Board of Governors (BoG) on Thursday decided to replace Brigadier (r) Nayyar Fardows as the college principal with a more able person from the Christian community.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, who is chairman of the Edwardes College BoG, reiterated during the meeting that the Christian identity of Edwardes College would not be disturbed by any means.
“Our purpose is to retain the glory and historic identity of Edwardes College and we have to take concrete steps for restoration of its educational quality and standard,” he told the board members.
The BoG approved the appointment of retired Professor Muhammad Zaki as acting principal of the college till the appointment of a permanent principal.
The board meeting also decided to hold a third party audit of Edwardes College’s financial affairs and conduct an inquiry in overall irregularities in the college.
The rift between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Diocese of Peshawar of the Church of Pakistan over the prestigious Edwardes College has destroyed the reputation of the institute.
Peshawar Diocese Bishop Humphrey Peters fears that the government is taking possession of the college from Christians and has announced of launching a protest campaign against interference in the college after Christmas.
The issue dates back to 2016, when Malik Naz, a candidate for the post of the college’s principal, went to the Peshawar High Court against the appointment of the incumbent Principal Nayyar Fardows. The court decided against the applicant and also declared the college a private entity.
In light of the court’s decision, the Diocese Committee formed its own Board of Governors (BOGs) for the college headed by the Bishop of Peshawar Diocese. It also stopped the BOG headed by the KP governor from holding meetings and managing administrative affairs of the college.
Some faculty members had turned against the current principal and started a movement against him. Students also joined in the protests. Rallies were held against the principal and faculty members held press conferences asking the KP government to intervene and save the college from getting ruined.
In an unprecedented move, students boycotted classes for two weeks.
In the meantime, the Bishop of Diocese moved a petition in the Peshawar High Court, asking the court to stop the KP government from intervention in the affairs of the college, which was a private entity. Faculty members also filed a petition, asking the court to revisit its decision from 2016 in which it had declared the college a private entity. They asked the court to declare the college an autonomous educational institute with its BOG headed by the governor, as was the arrangement prior to the court’s 2016 order.
Shah Farman chaired a meeting of the college BOG after the court’s order. It was boycotted by Christian members of the board
The court was told that the college had been taken over under the Privately Managed Schools and Colleges (Taking Over) Regulations 1972 and it had a BOG headed by the governor.
Last month, the court dismissed the Bishop’s petition and declared the college an autonomous body. The court also directed the authorities concerned to restore the past glory of the college.