- Court directs petitioners to approach Interior Ministry
The Islamabad High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea against the expulsion of Turkish staff of Pak-Turk School by November 20, and asked the petitioners to approach the Interior Ministry in this respect.
“If the visa of any foreigner expires do they go to the Interior Ministry for a visa extension or knock the doors of the court,” observed Justice Amir Farooq who hearing the petition.
Pak-Turk Chairman Alamgir Khan and two other staff members had approached the Islamabad High Court regarding the matter of the expulsion of staffers from the country and not receiving an explanation about the refusal to extend their visas.
Visa officer Muhammad Hafeez represented the Interior Ministry before the court, to which the court raised objections, asking why a joint secretary was not present for the hearing.
When the public prosecutor replied that the joint secretary was in a meeting, the judge asked if there was only one joint secretary present in the ministry.
Hafeez also raised questions about the timing of the meeting the joint secretary was attending. “Who holds meetings at 2:30pm? Did the prosecutor not inform the interior ministry about the court hearing?”
The judge summoned the joint secretary to court, upon which Deputy Secretary Naila Zafar and Joint Secretary Salman Qayyum presented themselves before the court.
The officers of the Interior Ministry informed the court that it had no record of any visa extension requests from Pak-Turk staff members from June 22 or August. The visas of the Pak-Turk school staff expired on September 9.
In his petition, Alamgir Khan, chairman of the educational network, pleaded with the court to set aside the Interior Ministry’s orders and grant permission to employees of the network to stay in Pakistan till completion of the ongoing educational session by March 2017.
The interior ministry officials further informed the judge that the petitioners’ latest request had been received by the ministry with the judge’s remarks, saying that giving the staffers a six-day notice to leave the country was unreasonable, attached to them.
In reply to this development, the judge asked the petitioners to approach the ministry with the matter again.