Turk family’s ‘abduction’ violates court order, says Asma

LHC seeks replies from federal government, Sattokatla SHO; Turkish nationals demand immediate recovery


Mohammad Zafar/Muhammad Shahzad September 29, 2017
Asma Jahangir. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

LAHORE/QUETTA: Senior lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir has said the abduction of a former principal of Pak-Turk School and his family “by personnel of law enforcement agencies [LEAs] is a violation of the court order”.

“The Attorney General of Pakistan had conceded during arguments on a petition against deportation of staff associated with Pak-Turk School that the government will not deport them till November 24, 2017,” said Jahangir during a press conference at Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday.

On the AGP’s undertaking, the school staff had withdrawn their petition, said the Supreme Court advocate, flanked by her colleagues and a large number of Turkish nationals formerly associated with the Pak-Turk School.

“But it was highly unfortunate that former Pak-Turk School principal Mesut Kacmaz and his family, including two young daughters, were picked up by LEAs personnel in plain clothes [on Wednesday] from their house,” she said, adding that the victim was an educationist and was not involved in any criminal or terrorist activity. He had also presented himself before the police for investigation, she added.

Asylum seeker: Turkish family goes missing from Lahore

Holding the interior ministry responsible for the “abduction”, she said the court had issued an order before, and had also issued fresh orders that these people could not be deported.

A copy of the order issued by Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi on March 27, 2017, on Jahangir’s petition stated, “During the course of proceedings, learned AGP, who appearance on court’s call, has placed on record copies of letter issued by UNHCR in favour of the petitioners, whereby petitioners cannot be deported from Pakistan till November 24, 2017.”

However, the asylum-seeker certificate of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) issued to victim Mesut Kacmaz and his family stated that it was valid till November 27, 2017.

Kacmaz, who is also the director of Rumi Forum, as well as his wife and two young daughters were allegedly picked up by 15 unidentified personnel, including five female officers, from their home in Wapda Town.

Pak-Turk schools staff involved in terrorism, SHC told

Kacmaz’s neighbour and former colleague Fateh Ali was also allegedly rounded up by the officials, but was later on released.

LHC seeks reply from govt, SHO

The LHC, meanwhile, barred deportation of the Turkish teacher and his family and ordered the federal government and the Sattokatla SHO to file replies till October 6.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza heard the petition of the regional director of Pak-Turk School, Orhan.

Orhan’s advocate Jahangir told the court that the political situation in Turkey was not good as the Turkish government was deporting all those citizens who were against it. However, “these residents enjoyed protection under international agreements”.

She prayed to the court to stop deportation of these Turkish teachers and their families.

Presser for recovery

Former teachers of Pak-Turk schools held a press conference demanding an immediate recovery of their colleague and his family.

Speaking at the presser, Osman Arslanhan and Navida Arslanhan said, “Turkish educationists are not involved in the Pak-Turk education system any more since the Turkish government registered cases against them.”

Pak-Turk schools: Parents urge government against transferring administration

“We have been staying in Pakistan under the asylum-seeker certificates issued by the UNHCR,” he said, adding that the reason why educationists resorted to this option was that the Turkish government introduced legal cases against them and they did not have any valid Pakistani residence permit and no visa either to apply as teachers in another country.

They said that with effect from the end of November 2016, the Turkish educationists had to severe their ties with Pak-Turk educational institutions as they were not allowed into those institutions.

They said that it was the responsibility of the government to provide protection to the Turkish educationists who were living in Pakistan as asylum seekers under the UNHCR certificates.

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