LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday granted a stay order on the expulsion of the family of the former director of the Pak-Turk School (Turkish School) from the country.
The family of Mesut Kacmez including two young daughters was reportedly taken into custody on Wednesday to be deported to Turkey. Law-enforcement agencies said that they were living in Pakistan without a valid visa.
Mesut Kacmez was living in Pakistan on a asylum-seeker certificate by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) which grants protection from being forced to be returned to the country where he claims to face threats to his life or freedom. He is allowed to stay till November 2017.
Their counsel Asma Jehangir informed the court that the current political situation in Turkey is not feasible for the family of Mesut Kacmez. The Turkish government has expelled thousands of teachers and other officials after an attempted coup on July 15, 2016 to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Asma Jehangir, the federal government has taken the family of Mesut Kacmez into custody to expel them to Turkey despite assurances. She said the family is given protection under international laws and conventions, and risks arrest and torture if forced to be deported to Turkey.
Ms Jehangir pleaded before the court to halt the deportation of the Turkish family. Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza who heard the application filed by the the school’s regional director Orhan Agyun issued a stay order on the deportation and sought a reply from the federal government on October 6.
Later speaking to media, Ms. Jehangir said that the deportation was violation of the law. She said the Attorney General has assured the court that family will not be deported from Pakistan.
The Pak-Turk schools are linked to Fehtullah Gulen, a US-based preacher, who Erdogan has blamed for the failed coup. The Turkish government has designated Gulen’s foundation as a terrorist organisation and sought to dismantle his chain of schools from countries around the world.