ISLAMABAD – The upper House of the Parliament asked the government on Friday to explain its position regarding the forced repatriation of Turkish teachers from Pakistan.
During the course of Senate proceedings, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani ruled that the observations made by Senator Farhatullah Babar on the issue of repatriation of teachers at Turkish schools in Pakistan and their families should be forwarded to the interior minister to get a policy statement on the matter.
The PPP lawmaker raised the issue in the house, saying that nearly 300 Turkish nationals in Pakistan faced grave human rights abuse in the form of arbitrary arrests and forcible repatriation in contradiction with various international covenants that Pakistan was bound to obey.
He maintained that Turkish President Erdogan and Turkey were friends of Pakistan, but warned against becoming a party to Turkey’s political environment.
The legislator reminded that Pakistan had burnt its fingers by meddling in the internal affairs of other countries in the past.
‘Turkey had managed to get Myanmar and Saudi Arabia to forcibly repatriate its citizens and asked whether Pakistan, too, had joined the ranks of these countries’ Babar noted.
He recalled that last month the former head of Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan, Mesut Kacmaz was abducted along with his family and then forcibly repatriated through a Turkish police contingent that had flown back in a Turkish plane.
Quoting the statement of the foreign minister that there would be no repatriations as long as the Turkish teachers had stay orders from the courts and possessed asylum seeker certificates issued by the UNHCR, Mr Babar asked whether he (Khawaja Asif) was in charge of the policy in this regard.
He said the situation had exacerbated during the past months as some of the Turkish families had newborn babies who did not have passports, while the passports of some of the Turkish nationals had expired adding that the citizenship of some of the teachers had been revoked by the Erdogan led government.
It is relevant to mention that during the last week of September, Former director of Pak-Turk School, Mesut Kacmaz, was picked up along with his family allegedly by officials of law enforcement agency.
The Lahore High Court had issued a stay order against the repatriation of Turkish educators, however, the family was mysteriously relocated to Turkey.