Recently, the Federal Government had issued an order to deport all Turkish individuals affiliated with the Pak-Turk Schools.
The order was issued mere days before the Turkish President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to arrive in Pakistan for a visit. The Pak-Turk schools were expected to replace the Turkish staff with Pakistani staff and continue with the current batch of students. The Turkish staff faced deportation to Turkey following political tensions.
Today, Peshawar High Court has issued a stay order by the division bench of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ikramullah. The stay order was issued after a plea was filed by a student’s parents and teachers against the government for not extending their visas.
The Court Hearing in Peshawar
While the hearing was being conducted, the petitioner’s counsel Qazi Muhammad Anwar said that the government has asked them to leave within 3 days. He said that the notice was issued at a time when the school courses weren’t complete and deporting the teachers would waste a full year of the students if the teachers were to leave, affecting hundreds of students. He added,
Besides, all the Turkish teachers are very peaceful people who have committed no crime in Turkey was well as here in Pakistan.
The bench agreed to his plea and issued the stay order, stopping the deportation of the Turkish staff and their families.
The Reason For Deportation Orders
The Pak-Turk chain of schools is owned by Fetullah Gulen, a person declared as a national terrorist by the Turkish government. He was accused of being involved in a coup to overthrow the Turkish president and his government. He is currently living in a self imposed exile in the US and has denied any involvement in the coup.
There are a total of 28 Pak-Turk schools and colleges in Pakistan in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur and Jamshoro. There are a total of 1200 Pakistani and 134 Turkish staff appointed in these schools with more than 10,000 students studying in the schools.