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IHC discloses reasons for not giving relief to Turkish teachers

ISLAMABAD: Though high courts in other provinces have suspended the government order for the expulsion of foreign teachers working with Pak-Turk schools, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) gave eight reasons for not providing the same relief to the Turkish teachers.

In a detailed judgment, IHC Justice Aamer Farooq explained why the petition filed by two Turkish teachers and the chairman of Pak-Turk Educational Foundation against the expulsion of over 400 teachers and their family members was not maintainable.

The Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court have provided an interim relief to the Pak-Turk schools’ staff.

The petitioners stated that they had filed applications for the visa extension with the interior ministry in June but on November 11 the staff and faculty members were ordered to leave Pakistan by November 20.

Justice Farooq in his detailed order noted that the applications were moved in August while the visas of the Turkish teachers expired in September. However, on Nov 14, they were granted the exit permit till November 20.

“The permission to enter or remain in the country is the sole prerogative of any sovereign state…the permission once granted, can be revoked.”

Justice Farooq cited an order authored by him regarding the rejection of the visa applications of the faculty of Convent School in June last year. “Leave to foreigners to stay in Pakistan is in the nature of concession/privilege and cannot be termed as a right to remain in the country.”

Citing another judgment of a division bench of the West Pakistan High Court of 1962, Justice Farooq said, “Government of Pakistan is not bound to give its reasons why it does not want a foreigner to stay in Pakistan beyond certain date.”

The judgment also reproduced a verdict of Peshawar High Court of 1980 which stated, “Every sovereign state has inherited powers to restrict entry into its territory. This right of sovereign state cannot be hampered with by any principle of natural justice or on the ground of equity.”

It then cited a decision of the Lahore High Court of 1997, which states, “The government is fully competent to permit anybody to stay or to deport anybody who is found not entitled to stay in the country.”

It also referred to the order of Sindh High Court of 1986 which said, “Under Section 3 of the Foreign Act 1946, the federal government has express powers to pass order directing that a foreigner shall not remain in Pakistan or in any prescribed areas.”

Justice Farooq observed that “the government is empowered to provide for prohibiting, regulating or restricting the entry of foreigners into Pakistan or their departure…the power exercised by the interior ministry was within its authority and cannot be termed as misuse of authority.”

He concluded, “In view of the above judgment and principles laid down therein, the challenge to impugned letters dated November 11, 2016, and November 14, 2016, (regarding expulsion of teachers) is not maintainable.”

courtesy : dawn news

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