ISLAMABAD: Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday disposed of a petition filed by Pak-Turk Educational Foundation (PTEF) against the possible handover of its schools to another Turkish educational network.

The court took the decision after attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali informed the court that it was just an apprehension of the foundation that the government was going to hand over their schools to an NGO ‘Maarif’ associated with the incumbent Turkish regime.

After July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey, the government there believed that the Pak-Turk schools were part of the network owned by Fethullah Gulen, a political rival of President Recip Tayyap Erdogan.

The Turkish government had reportedly called upon Pakistan to close down the schools. Turkey declared Gulen’s organisation a terrorist entity.

AG Ali further assured the court that the government would not take any illegal action against the PTEF.

In a related case, AG Ali appeared before IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani to assure the court that the government would not arrest PTEF chairman Alamgir Khan unless, he was found guilty of receiving funds from informal channels.

Khan had filed a petition before Justice Kayani saying that the counterterrorism department (CTD) of the Punjab was compelling him to resign.

Additional advocate general Punjab Rashid Hafeez told the court that the investigation agency had detected that the PTEF network had received foreign funding therefore the chairman of the foundation was being grilled to know the sources of funding.

Justice Kayani directed the government’s counsel to submit a report in this regard. He however allowed the CTD to probe the matter in accordance with the legal procedure.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2017

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