ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition seeking the declaration of Turkey’s Fethullah Gulen’s network as a ‘terror’ outfit was admitted to the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday and the management of the Pak-Turk schools was handed over to the Turkiye MAARIF Foundation.
Gulen’s organisation is referred to as Fethullah’s Terrorist Organisation (FETO) in Turkey and it is also the parent organisation of the Pak-Turk Education Foundation which runs a number of schools in the country.
During the hearing, a report fully endorsing the Turkish government’s stance over the Gulen-backed schools was submitted by Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman on behalf of the federal government before a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arbab.
Justice Ahsan observed that if the parent state had declared an organisation as a ‘terrorist organisation’ then Pakistan should follow suit.
The court’s decision comes ahead of CJP Nisar’s scheduled visit to Turkey on a special invitation of Turkey’s Constitutional Court’s president. The top judge will attend the annual spiritual night Shab-e-Arus organised in Konya to commemorate the mystic poet, Maulana Rumi, on December 17.
Two weeks ago, an application was moved by Sohail Sajid in SC, seeking direction to refrain the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) from registering an organisation, which is presently running the Pak-Turk schools in the country.
The petitioner prayed that the court should order the government to temporarily take over the management of the school until it is handed over to Turkiye MAARIF Foundation.
“The federal government, with enough reasons at the local and international level, should be directed to declare FETO as a proscribed organisation,” the petition stated. He also said that the incumbent management of the Pak-Turk Education Foundation had applied to the SECP to change its name to Golden Generation Education Foundation but it had not been accorded the permission.