Govt ‘takes over’ FCC for 3 days amid criticism

Faculty, students unhappy with decision to keep institution closed and be used as parking lot, but vow cooperation for revival of international cricket in Pakistan

Govt ‘takes over’ FCC for 3 days  amid criticism

LAHORE: A decision of the Punjab government to keep the Forman Christian College (FCC) closed for three days during the Independence Cricket Cup between Pakistan and World XI has drawn strong criticism from students, faculty and FCC Rector Dr James Tebbe.

The decision to keep the college closed from September 12-15 was made by the Punjab government on Saturday in the wake of security situation. Moreover, the government has also decided to use the college’s premises for car parking during the three-match series for which the college’s administration has been informed.

While reacting to the decision, FCC Rector Dr James Tebbe, who widely opposed the decision on the social media, said, “As the Punjab government had decided... it is important for our students and community to know that we used all means available to us to oppose this. But now that the decision had been made we are fully cooperating with the authorities, as we too want a successful outcome for international cricket in Pakistan.”

“Despite our unhappiness with the decision, any disruptive actions taken against this government takeover from members of our community will be firmly disciplined by the FCC administration,” he warned.

“They (government) have done this because they are using our parking lots and they have expropriated the central main ground of our campus to be used for parking for cricket matches in Gaddafi Stadium,” he added.

“Because this is the first week of classes for the new semester, the administration has made the decision for all academic departments in the university and intermediate sections to remain closed from September 11-15. Classes for all university and intermediate sections will begin on September 18.”

He went on to say, “Once the matches are over, we will be vigorously pursuing this matter with the government to ensure that this does not happen again.”

A student, wishing not to be named, said, “The college has recently reopened and we are yet to cover a lot of course before the finals. Our coursework was very lengthy and we had already been asking our teachers to arrange makeup classes but now these three ‘holidays’ will affect our studies.”

He added, “We all wanted revival of international cricket in our country and that was why we didn’t stage a protest, but it was a very poor decision by the government.”

For the first time since 2009, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had officially announced to send international players in the country to play cricket. Pakistani cricket grounds have not witnessed any international match since the attack on Sri Lanka Cricket Team near Gaddafi Stadium.