Islamabad-Parents Teacher Association of Pak-Turk School Islamabad held a press conference yesterday to address the concerns of parents over news reports regarding closure and transfer of the schools to another entity for being funded by the foreign entities, spewing and breeding terrorists.

The press conference was attended by the faculty members and school teachers, both Pakistani and Turkish, parents along with their kids and even a bunch of former students. The press conference was headed by Hafiz SA Rehman, one of the parents besides being a senior lawyer of Supreme Court of Pakistan conducting and pleading as counsel the case of Pak-Turk institution in Islamabad High Court.

Hafiz SA Rehman on behalf of all the school management, parents and students said, “Our sympathies and good wishes go in the best interest of Turkey. But we are also extremely disturbed by attempts by certain segments to impute political and even terrorist linkages with the Pak-Turk schools that are capable of stigmatising and jeopardising our children as students and us as parents.”

For parents the choice of school for their kids is indeed the most difficult phase, one has to consider so many things before sending their children to a certain environment.

“But today after 20 years of Pak-Turk foundation in this country, we are all proud that we send our kids to this school because of its quality of education. But today the future of more than 10,000 students enrolled in Pak-Turk schools is at stake,” said the parents.

Pak-Turk is a registered entity and the government and related ministries have issued NOC to it.

The school’s administration is exclusively managed by 1,200 Pakistani and 134 Turkish personnel living away from their developed country for the betterment of education in Pakistan.

It was strongly reiterated that the schools are not funded by Pakistani or Turkish government or any foreign entity. Pak-Turk Foundation achieved this prestige today solely by utilising self-generated local financial and manpower resources.

The schools have launched scholarship programmes that helped the poor and financially weaker students to achieve their goals. The parents have been ardent supporters of the efforts of the raising donations for development.

The institute has always worked in accordance with the requirements prescribed by the boards and ministries of education of respective provinces.

It has a reputation and those who are mudslinging over it don’t have any evidence to prove their false accusations.

“We have not witnessed any negative or objectionable activity on the part of these schools. In fact Pak-Turk school has been a symbol of high morals, imparting cultural, moral and religious sense and knowledge to its students. We have a track record of producing doctors, engineers, world toppers but not even a single case of brewing a terrorist or extremist has ever surfaced,” said the concerned parents.

One of the former students Mahwish Dildar, now in her final years of MBBBS who was there to show solidarity with the school, said: “21 years ago, a group of dedicated people left their families behind and came to your country to provide your children with the best possible education for their better future and then one day something happens and you start levelling accusations at them that they are yielding terrorists and promoting rebellious ideology? This is the fruit you bore them of all their hard work and efforts?”

Another former student Hamza Abbasi, now a student at one of Pakistan’s best universities cried in frustration, “Talking statistically, how many terrorists can you see Pak-Turk schools have produced in the last 21 years or produce per year? And on the contrary how many professionals and toppers has it given to the country over the period of time?”

“They say Pak-Turk should be shutdown because it’s funded by Muhammed Fethullah Gülen. All my 8 years of educational career I had never seen or heard of this person visiting the schools or inaugurating any of the branches of PTISC network? Yes we used to read books authored by Gülen in our summer courses but that doesn’t prove anything, does that mean that reading Mein Kamp makes you Hitler? Or reading an article penned down by a Jew makes you a Jew?” he added.

It was made clear at the press conference that the schools have already sought the judicial intervention by filing a writ petition before the Islamabad High court against the probable transfer of administration to some other entity.

The teachers and parents said they are hopeful something good will come out of all their efforts and prayers and the state and judiciary won’t disappoint them in their final order.