ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Balighur Rehman Friday informed the Senate that neither Pak-Turk schools were being closed down nor their administration was handed over to anyone.

Replying to a calling attention notice raised by Senator Mohish Aziz about visa cancellation of the Pak-Turk staffers, the minister said these were registered schools and educational activities in these institutions would continue.

Baligh was of the view that most of the teachers and other staffers in these schools were Pakistanis, adding that Turkish staff in Board of Directors (BoD) had also voluntarily stepped down.

The minister said it was the right of any state to extend the visa of any foreign national or not. Visas of those expired on September were given time to leave the country by November 20, he added.

Balighur Rehman said visas of some Turkish families under hardship cases had been extended up to December 31.

On Wednesday, the Peshawar High Court passed a stay order preventing the government from deporting Pak-Turk school officials.

Dozens of Pak-Turk staffers were ordered to leave Pakistan after Turkish officials asked Islamabad to close down institutions being run by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based religious leader accused of masterminding and backing the botched coup attempt in Turkey.

In Pakistan, Gulen runs a network of schools and Rumi Forum, an intellectual and intercultural dialogue platform, in addition to having business stakes. His organisations and businesses have been operating in Pakistan for decades.

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria had earlier maintained the government would ensure smooth functioning of schools being operating under the umbrella of Pak-Turk network.

Zakaria had said the government was fully conscious of the importance of continued smooth functioning of the schools in which thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled.