Govt stopped from deporting Turkish family

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday restrained the federal government from deporting another Turkish family associated with Pak-Turk Schools.

Mr Murat Ervan filed a writ petition pleading that his colleagues had been allegedly abducted by law-enforcement agencies and likely to be deported.

Representing the petitioner, Advocate Asad Manzoor Butt stated that the petitioner and other Turkish educationists had sought asylum in Pakistan under the protection of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR).

He said the incumbent Turkish government resorted to persecution of employees associated with Pak-Turk Schools system on political grounds.

The counsel said that the attorney general of Pakistan had given an undertaking before the court last year that the Turkish employees of the Pak-Turk Schools would not be deported till Nov 24, 2017.

However, he said the Turkish educationists had been abducted and subjected to forced deportation in violation of the government’s undertaking before the court. Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza directed a deputy attorney general to ensure that the petitioner and his family were not deported till decision of the petition. The judge would resume hearing on Oct 6 along with an already pending main petition regarding the alleged abduction of former vice president of Pak-Turk Schools Mr Mesut Kacmaz.

Last week, Justice Mirza had stopped the government from repatriating Mr Kacmaz and his family and sought a reply from the interior ministry. Mr Kacmaz was allegedly abducted from Wapda Town residence along with his wife and two daughters.

The Turkish teachers claimed that they had been under the UNHCR protection as asylum seekers in Pakistan since November 2016. They said the Turkish educationists had been serving the people of Pakistan for 22 years and never involved in any illegal activity. They said Turkish teachers had serious concerns about their safety and wanted the authorities to ensure recovery of the kidnapped colleagues and bring the perpetrators to book.