PESHAWAR - The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday extended stay of Turkish teachers, their families and staff members associated with the Pak-Turk international schools and colleges in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa till December 13.

A division bench, comprising of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan heard the case. The court also asked the petitioner’s lawyer to submit a rejoinder to the government reply within seven days.

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney Generals Musarratullah Khan and Arshad Hussain Shah prayed before the court to vacate the stay order on deportation of the Turkish teachers, their families and other staff members.

In the reply, the ministry of interior stated that it has not extended the visas of administrative and teaching staff along with their families’ members and also informed the Pak-Turk Educational Foundation and Pak-Turk International Educational Foundation about this development.

It added that an exit permit was issued by the ministry on November 14 with the direction to leave the country before November 20. It said in the reply that the foundation has applied for extension in visas of their expatriates in August 2016.

Almost 90 per cent visas of their expatriates have expired in September 2016, but they have been staying in Pakistan without further visa extension, it stated.  It, however, added that the ministry issued them regret letter after following the due process and an exit permit is issued accordingly.

During hearing, Dr Muhammad Zubair, one of the parents of the school, submitted before the court that it was the matter of the future of their children and they are very kind and good teachers.

The bench issued directions in a writ petition filed by Shah Muhammad and others whose children are getting education at the Pak-Turk International School and College, Hayatabad, and a Turkish teacher of the same school. Lawyers Niaz Ali and Khalid Tanveer Rohaila appeared in the case on behalf of the petitioners.

The petitioners’ lawyer, submitted before the bench that Pak-Turk School and College is affiliated with Cambridge University, which has been conducting A and O level examinations here.

The petitioners submitted that more than 11,000 students were acquiring education in 28 campuses of the Pak-Turk international schools and colleges in different cities of Pakistan. They informed that the government had also issued exit pass on November 14 to the Turkish staff members of the schools for leaving the country.

They argued it was a political decision of the federal government due to which the future of over 11,000 students is at stake. They said that the government even didn’t wait till March 2017 while expelling the Turkish staff members of these institutions to allow the completion of the academic year.