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Turkey asks Pakistan to shut down Gulen-run schools

Erdogan and the Turkish authorities blame the cleric and his followers for orchestrating last month's failed military coup, in which nearly 300 people were killed

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Turkish school. Representational Image Wikimedia commos.
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On Tuesday reiterated visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu his country’s request that  “Gulen-run” schools operating in Pakistan should be closed down.

Gulen-run schools. Representational Image Wikimedia Commons.
Gulen-run schools. Representational Image Wikimedia Commons.

The request by Turkey is part of an international campaign by President Tayyip Erdogan against US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his Islamic transnational religious and social movement.

Erdogan and the Turkish authorities blame the cleric and his followers for orchestrating last month’s failed military coup, in which nearly 300 people were killed.

Addressing a joint press conference here after his meeting with Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, Cavusoglu said Turkey had asked Pakistan to close down these schools much before the attempted coup.

“The request was made when President Mamnoon Hussain visited Turkey….”

The Gulen-run schools are functional in many countries, he said.

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Sartaj Aziz stressed that Pakistan and Turkey enjoy close brotherly relations. “We are on the same page when it comes to tackling terrorism.”

Sartaj Aziz said the Turkish people had foiled the attempts by a certain section of the Turkish army to stage a coup and overthrow the democratic government of Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildrim.

The Turkish Foreign Minister arrived in the capital on Monday on a two-day official visit for talks with Pakistani authorities on bilateral relations, as well as the regional security situation.

When asked about the Turkish demand for action against Gulen-run institutions, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria had said Islamabad was in contact with Ankara on the issue.

“Pakistan has very close and brotherly ties with Turkey. We are aware of the Turkish concerns. Authorities in both the countries are in touch with each other to address Turkish concerns while also remaining cognisant of the importance of avoiding disruption in the academic activities of a sizeable number of students,” Zakria added.

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“In essence, in keeping with the cordial relations between the two countries, we are maintaining a close contact with Turkey to address the issue in a manner that fully addresses Turkey’s concerns as also of the students,” he said. (IANS)

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India. flickr

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.

“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.

He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.

“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.

Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi. flickr

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.

However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”

Also read: Women-Driven Rickshaw Program Creating Sensation in Pakistan

“We should also be mindful that the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ does not become a mere re-enactment of the discredited ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the past,” she added. (IANS)