Pakistan’s Christian community Sunday held a protest demonstration outside the Governor House calling for the thorough rights of possession of St Francis High School located in Anarkali.
The protest started from the Lahore Press Club to the Governor House. It was attended by hundreds of Pakistani Christians, was prepared under the umbrellas of Archdiocese of Lahore and directed by Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shah, Reverend Andrew Nisari, Joseph Francis and Samuel Piara of Pakistan Christian National Party, Martin Javed Michael, Father Shahid Miraj, and Convener of World Minorities Alliance Dr J Salik.
In protest, senior Christian leaders held responsible the Punjab government for disregarding the apprehensions of minorities and said all the educational institutions created by Christians and financed by missionary donations should be in the ownership of the community. Andrew Nisari told Christians had played a prominent role in running schools after the establishment of Pakistan in 1947 and a majority of Pakistan’s political leadership had acquired education from these institutions. He added it was unfortunate that despite these precious contributions, the formerly nationalized St Francis High School had not been given back to its original owners.
Archbishop of the Catholic Church Sebastian Francis Shah told that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his speech on December 19, 2013 at Governor House had assured the community that St Francis High School would soon be returned to its original owners. However, Archbishop pointed out that this promise was never satisfied and the Christians continued to protest but to no benefit.
Talking to The News, Pakistan Christian National Party Director, Joseph Francis said that protests would continue all over the country till St Francis High School, which provided education to over 3,000 students, returned to its original owners. He insisted PM Nawaz Sharif to return the school to Anarkali Church administration.