Islamabad asks Ankara to take over schools run by Gulen in Pak

Islamabad, Aug. 3 : Pakistan has offered Turkey to take over a chain of schools allegedly run by Fateullah Gulen, a U.S.

based cleric accused of being behind the recent failed coup in a move aimed at allaying Ankara's concerns over the presence of institutions in the country.

The gesture was offered during the talks between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at the Foreign Office yesterday.

The Turkish foreign minister also called on Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain. This is Cavusoglu's first visit to any country following the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Gulen behind the coup attempt. The country has since been seeking action against Gulen-run schools and other institutions across the globe, including in Pakistan.

Cavusoglu in a joint news conference with Aziz expressed his concerns over the presence of a Gulen network in Pakistan and other countries.

"It is not a secret that this organisation has institutions or their presence in Pakistan and in many other countries.We have to be very careful with such organisations and their causing risk and threat for the security and stability of every country that they have presence in," the Express Tribune quoted him as saying.

He added that his country was taking "all necessary legal measures against the coup plotters, namely the terrorist organisation Feto, headed by Gulen".

Cavusoglu thanked the Pakistani Government, Parliament and people for expressing solidarity with Turkey in the wake of the failed coup plot.

Aziz promised to address Turkish government's concerns. However, for Islamabad which has historically close ties with Turkey reportedly is under pressure to act against the Gulen-run network of schools in the country.

On one hand it cannot turn down Turkey's demand while on the other hand it has to deal with public backlash, especially from the parents whose children are studying in such schools.

Source: ANI