LAHORE - The Punjab government has cancelled allotment of state land to Pak-Turk Schools & Colleges (PTSC) in Multan and decided to hand it over to the education department.

A meeting in this regard was held at the Civil Secretariat the other day. ACS Ajaz Ahmad chaired the meeting while School Education Department (SED) Secretary and Special Secretary (SS), Multan Commissioner, Multan Development Authority DG and others attended the meeting.

The SED SS briefed the chair that the land was allotted to the foundation for construction of the school. This was done during the government of former CM Shehbaz Sharif in 2012. The SED had also paid an amount of Rs13.8 million to MDA on Jan 9, 2012.

A land lease agreement was signed between the SED and PTSC on Feb 16, 2012.

Consequently, the foundation raised building for education purpose. The SED approached the foundation regional director for payment of dues to MDA as per rules of the agreement. Later on, allotment of land was cancelled on account of non-fulfilment of conditions enunciated in the sale agreement, the documents say.

In response to the letter of withdrawal and cancellation of the land deed from the government, the MD of PTSC had stopped the construction work. The SED had also asked the Education EDO to furnish viable comments on the issue.

During the meeting, the MDA DG was of the view that the land in question belongs to a housing scheme and can’t be used or allotted for any other purpose than education. Hence it asserted that no office or education complex could be established as per rules.

The SED intimated the house that the school education department intends to establish an educational institution at the place.

On this, the MDA DG told that the SED needs to take up the issue of allotment of the said piece of land afresh as its allotment was already been cancelled.

On the other hand, the SED secretary told that the amount paid by SED was still with the MDA.

In a recent development, the apex court of Pakistan Thursday allowed a petition declaring Turkey’s self-exiled Fethullah Gulen’s organization as a ‘terror’ outfit. The court also directed the government to hand over the management of Pak-Turk schools to Turkiye MAARIF Foundation. The federal government had endorsed Turkey’s stance on the Gulen issue in the court. The court also observed that Gulen-run organization Fethullah’s Terrorist Organisation (Feto) was proscribed in its parent country so it was in Pakistan.

It is to be recalled that Gulen was charged with a failed coup in Turkey back in 2016. His organization runs foundations, associations, media organizations and educational chains in many countries including Pakistan.

During 2016 Pakistan’s interior ministry had also ordered the Pak-Turk administration and faculty to leave the country within three days after the coup attempt was done in Turkey. The PTSC management had then challenged the act in the Islamabad High Court. At that time there were two dozen branches with 11,000 students in addition to 108 staffers and 400 family members living in Pakistan. The Pak-Turk school’s project was launched in 1995. At present there are about 18000 students in all Pak-Turk Schools.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu had also requested Pakistan to close the PTSC network in Pakistan. Moreover, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had also blamed Gulen for the coup attempt to remove him. Erdogan had also asked the US to extradite Gulen.