Pak court stops govt from deporting Turkish teachers
In a setback to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a Pakistani court on Tuesday stopped his government from deporting over 400 Turkish expatriates, mostly schoolteachers and their families, which was aimed at appeasing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Lahore High Court Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza passed an interim order on a writ petition filed by Turkish principal Mehmet Ali Seker and other teachers of the Pak-Turk Educational Foundation.
Since the Pak-Turk schools and colleges has alleged links with the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by Erdogan for July’s coup attempt, the Pakistani government had ordered 450 Turkish teachers and their family members to leave the country by November 20. Some of the Turkish families left for other countries (not Turkey), while others filed a petition in different high courts of the country.
Mirza stopped the federal government from deporting the Turkish citizens or taking any other action against them. The court also sought a reply from interior ministry on the issue.
Known rights activist and advocate Asma Jahangir, a counsel for Turkish teachers, argued before the court that the petitioners had been lawfully residing in Pakistan.