Pakistan’s top court rejects review petition for transfer of FETÖ schools to Turkey

Published 16.04.2019 10:59
Updated 16.04.2019 11:55

Pakistan's top court on Tuesday rejected a petition for a final review on the 2018 verdict over handing over the schools linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to Turkey's Maarif Foundation.

The review petition -- which was filed last month by FETÖ, the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey -- was heard by a bench comprising of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Maqbool Baqir.

"Today the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan has rejected the FETÖ review petition which they filed against the top court over last year's verdict" Mohammad Sohail Sajid, a local lawyer who filed the petition against FETÖ-linked schools in 2018, told Anadolu Agency.

The court ruled that the school system belongs to Turkey and the state of Pakistan has already cancelled all No Objection Certificates and Memorandum of Understandings of FETÖ-linked Pak-Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEF).

The Supreme Court of Pakistan also upheld its verdict that FETÖ is a terrorist organization declared by the Turkish Parliament and further recognized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Asian Parliament Assembly (APA).

Even on technical and administrative grounds, the Court will not let anyone to defend terrorists, it ordered.

"Earlier, the application by FETO to change their Counsel was also denied. This chapter of resistance by FETO to reclaim and takeover the school system again is over forever" Sajid said, referring to FETO's request in February to be represented by a new lawyer in the review petition.

In December, the Supreme Court ruled and directed the Interior Ministry to declare PTICEF a "proscribed organization" and include its name in the list of terror outfits.

It also directed financial institutions to immediately freeze bank accounts of FETÖ-linked foundations and give custody assets to Türkiye Maarif Foundation. All 28 schools affiliated with FETÖ, had been handed over by Pakistani authorities to Maarif Foundation.

FETÖ has a considerable presence abroad, particularly in the U.S., including private schools which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.

Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETÖ. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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