ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday directed the government to ban the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and a foundation linked to the group which runs a network of “Pak-Turk” schools across the country, court order said.
In a 15-page judgment issued on Thursday, Pakistan’s top court also ordered the government to hand over the FETO-linked schools and other education institutions to the Turkiye Maarif Foundation (TMF).
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the petition seeking orders regarding the declaration of Pak Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEP) as a terrorist organization, in compliance with Pakistan’s International Commitments, and the granting of Pak-Turk School’s custody of the TMF along with moveable and immovable assets of the PTICEF.
“We are in no manner of doubt the government of Pakistan has international obligations toward the government of Turkey to declare FETO as a terrorist organization,” the order read.
“We have been informed that the Turkish government declared the PTICEF and its related organizations as FETO. FETO was also recognized as a terrorist organization by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) during its 43rd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers at Tashkent,” the court order read.
It added: “Pakistan being a member of the OIC was a part of the declaration and is bound by the same.”
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the petition. (Source: Supreme Court of Pakistan)
Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO.
Ankara maintains that FETO and its US-based leader, Fethullah Gulen, orchestrated the failed Turkish coup in 2016, a charge which Gulen denies.
Pak-Turk schools and colleges were launched in 1995 and the group has 28 campuses across Pakistan.
Turkey had long been urging Pakistan to ban FETO and it’s elements in the country. In September this year, during his visit to Islamabad, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had said: “I also stressed upon the importance of completely eradicating the influence of Fethullah Gülen and institutions from Pakistan.”