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LHC stops govt from deporting Turkish teachers

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday restrained the government from deporting Turkish teachers working for the PakTurk International Schools and sought a reply from the interior ministry on the matter.

Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by Mehmet Ali Seker and other teachers associated with the PakTurk Educational Foundation.

Advocate Asma Jahangir argued before the court that the petitioners were residing lawfully in Pakistan on visas issued under the “NGO category” and enjoyed an unblemished record as they abided by the relevant laws.

She said the interior ministry declined to extend the petitioners’ visas without disclosing any reason and asked them and other Turkish national employees of the foundation to leave the country.

Some of the petitioners and their family members, who possessed visas valid till January, were also ordered to be deported, the counsel said.

She also argued that the ministry was “planning a smooth takeover” of the foundation in favour of a different organisation owing to domestic politics in Turkey. She said the government also cancelled registration of the foundation by promulgating the Companies Ordinance of 2016.

Ms Jahangir contended that the measures taken by the government amounted to “indirectly winding up the foundation without any legal course and consent of its directors”.

She pointed out that the Peshawar High Court had already granted a stay against any punitive action against the members of the foundation in Pakistan.

Ms Jahangir pleaded that the petitioners and their families should not be deported until they were given ample opportunity to respond on the subject. She requested the court to restrain the ministry from deporting the Turkish members of the foundation.

Justice Mirza granted the petitioners a stay against any coercive measures by the government, including deportation.

The judge asked the ministry to submit a detailed reply on the matter by Jan 17.

courtesy: dawn news



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