March 30, 2017

Turkish teachers, students not to be deported, court told

The federal government Wednesday told the Lahore High Court that Turkish national teachers and students of PakTurk International Schools would not be deported.

During hearing of a petition by Mehmet Ali Seker and others associated with the PakTurk Educational Foundation, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf stated that the Turkish national teachers/students had filed applications to the United Nations to declare them refugees. He said the government had no plan to deport the Turkish teachers and students before any decision by the UN. In light of the attorney general’s statement, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi disposed of the petition.

The petitioners had submitted that they had been lawfully residing in Pakistan against “NGO” category visas abiding by the laws of the country having clean and unblemished record. They said the interior ministry declined to extend visas of the petitioners without disclosing any reason.

They said the ministry ordered deportation of the petitioners and other Turkish national employees of the foundation. Some of the petitioners and their families possessing valid visas till first month of 2017 were also ordered to be deported, they added. The petitioners said the ministry was planning a smooth takeover of the foundation in favour of a different organisation owing to domestic politics in Turkey.

They said the government also cancelled registration of the foundation by promulgating a new Companies Ordinance of 2016. They argued that the acts of the government amounted to indirectly winding up the foundation without any legal course and consent of its directors. They pleaded that the petitioners and their families could not be deported until they were not afforded an ample opportunity of hearing.

Published on The News International, 30 March 2017, Thursday