SC dismisses petition over control of Pak-Turk schools


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking review of its 2018 verdict which declared the Pak-Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEF) a proscribed organisation and handed over its educational institutes to the Turkiye Maarif Foundation.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the case seeking review of order regarding handing over the management of Pak-Turk schools to the Turkiye Maarif Foundation.

Ankara had called for Islamabad to close down institutions run by the PTICEF, an organisation controlled by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based religious leader accused of masterminding and backing the botched coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for the Pak-Turk schools administration pleaded that the Turkish government had no role in the establishment of the schools, it was the Turkish people who had donated funds for the creation of the schools.

On this Justice Ahsan responded that 40 other countries had also shut these schools down, and that the PTICEF has been declared a terrorist organisation.

Justice Saeed remarked that the Turkish government and Supreme Court had also declared the PTICEF to be a proscribed organisation and the Government of Pakistan stands by the Turkish government.

The lawyer for the Pak-Turk schools maintained that Malaysia had not banned these schools. Justice Saeed replied: “Then you should go to Malaysia.”

“Whether you want to change the schools’ name and fool people again,” inquired the judge, adding that this way other banned outfits will also start opening up various organisations. At the same time he also asked the counsel that he cannot defend a proscribed organisation in court.

The counsel argued that the interior and foreign ministries of Pakistan had allowed the organisation to open up schools here.

Justice Ahsan observed that the same government’s ministries had come to the court and said that Fethullah Gulen’s organisations have turned into a terrorist outfit and that the organisation is being used for money laundering and funding terrorist outfits.