PHC halts deportation of Pak-Turk school staff

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Parents heave a sigh of relief

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar—Eventually the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday halted the deportation of Pak-Turk school staff under the observations that the government’s decision has put the future of the thousands of students studying in different cities of the country at stake.
Infact, the Peshawar High Court move has brought great relief to more than 15000 students and their parents who were greatly perturbed by the federal government decision that was bound to ruin the future of their children who were hitherto getting quality education.
It may be recalled that the Federal Government had halted the functioning of Pak-Turk education institutions throughout the country and asked the Turkish educationist leave Pakistan with in short span of only three days, days before the Turkish Prime minister Tayyep Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan thus jeopardizing the future of over 15000 students.
Infact the Erdogan government wanted closure of the education system for its alleged links with the US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for the recent coup attempt.
It may be recalled that in July last the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin at media briefing on the developments in Turkey after failed attempt had said that Turkey wanted all friendly countries to prevent activities of Gulen’s group and close down institutions run by Fethullah Gülen.
The government move to close down the Pak-Turk schools and ordering the Turkish staff working in these educationists forth with led to the country wide protest by the suffering students and their parents demanding the government to reverse its decision. Some 150 Turkish educationists out of 1500 teachers imparting quality education to the students in Pakistan from pre-school to ‘A’ levels, had also expressed their serious concern over the government’s move and appealed to review the same.
The Peshawar High Court, However, on Wednesday stopped the deportation of the Turkish teachers from Pakistan. The court has also sought a reply from the federal government in this regard.
Two-member bench comprising of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ikramullah issued the stay order. Earlier, a plea was filed by the parents of the students and teachers against the decision of the government.
A chain some thirty schools and colleges is functioning under the Pak-Turk Education Foundation International Schools and Colleges in Pakistan in different cities including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Jamshoro, Quetta as well as the provincial metropolis Peshawar.
The independent observers say the Federal Government sudden move to close down all the Pak-Turk Education institutions was tantamount to ruining the future of 15000 students as well as 1500 teachers that also include 150 well-trained Turkish educationists adding unfortunately the move was aimed at only appeasing few but without caring about thousands with in the country.
We believe that the links of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen with Pak-Turk Education Foundation International Schools and Colleges in Pakistan are yet to be established but even if it has some connections, punishing thousands of innocent students for the liking or disliking for one person and that too under “certain pressures” is not justified by any means and the government is required to review its decision about closure of the Pak-Turk Educational Institutions.