LHC accepts Asma Jahangir’s contempt of court petition against govt for deporting Turkish couple

  • LHC issued notice to secretary of the interior ministry, asked the Civil Aviation Authority to submit details
  • The law of the jungle has prevailed in Pakistan: Asma Jahangir

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Tuesday accepted a contempt of court petition filed by prominent rights activist Asma Jahangir against the federal government for deporting Former director of Pak-Turk School, Mesut Kacmaz’s family which had gone ‘missing’ last month.

The high court had previously ordered the government not to deport the Turkish family and to place their names on the Exit Control List, however, Mesut Kacmaz and his wife, who were picked up along with their two daughters from their Wapda Town residence on Sept 27 were deported back to Turkey on Saturday.

The couple’s daughers Huda Nur and Fatima Huma had informed a former regional director of the Pak-Turk schools of the deportation days after they were picked up allegedly by law enforcement agency.

They had said that their parents were handed over to a Turkish police team which came to Islamabad by a special plane but the girls had left for Turkey by a regular flight via Karachi.

Turkish ex-director of Pak-Turk school, family kidnapped from Lahore

During Tuesday’s hearing, the petitioner’s lead counsel, Asma Jahangir, argued before the court that because deportation had taken place in violation of the court’s orders, it equated to contempt of court.

Subsequently, the court took up the contempt of court petition and issued notices to the secretary of the Interior Ministry.

The court also asked the Civil Aviation Authority to submit details regarding the transfer of the Turkish couple from Islamabad to Turkey.

Talking to newsmen after the hearing, Jahangir said that the couple was deported to Turkey sans passports.

‘The law of the jungle has prevailed in Pakistan,’ Jahangir said, adding that one ruler was focused on making another happy in a veiled reference to burgeoning ties between Turkish President Erdogan and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.

The Turkish government had sought the closure of Pak-Turk International Schools & Colleges after the botched coup in July last year for being associated with Fethullah Gulen’s movement.

After the Turkish government had demanded the closure of the schools, an NGO of Pakistan had started operating these schools and colleges.

As many as 115 Turk nationals were performing at different positions in these educational institutions and more than 11,000 Pakistanis were studying in the school chain.

So far, 30 Turk families have been deported from Pakistan and more than 70 are still here on the UNHCR asylum certificate.