Geelani passport row: PDP says will pursue matter with Home Ministry, BJP insists he apologise
“This issue has to be dealt with from humanitarian point of view and we will pursue the matter with the Union Home Ministry,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said. (Source: Express Archive)
While PDP said Geelani should be given passport on “humanitarian” grounds, BJP insists that he should not be given the travel document till he “apologises” for his anti-national activities.
“This issue has to be dealt with from humanitarian point of view and we will pursue the matter with the Union Home Ministry,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said while commenting on application made by Geelani for a passport to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.
The PDP president said Geelani was issued a passport in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
“We will tell (Union) Home Ministry that Geelani must be given passport along with his wife and son so that he could visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. His daughter must not be deprived of seeing her father,” Mehbooba said.
She said other separatist leaders including Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq already have passports and they have been visiting foreign countries from time to time, including Pakistan.
BJP, the coalition partner of PDP in the state government, has said Geelani must apologise for his “anti-national activities” and acknowledge that he is an Indian if he wants an Indian passport.
“Passport cannot be given to Geelani till he apologises for the mistakes he has committed during the past 25 years. Passports are issued to Indian citizens and not the ones who don’t believe in India and its democracy. If Geelani sahib wants the passport, then has to fall in the line and follow law of the land,” BJP spokesman Khalid Jehangir has said.
Reacting to Mehbooba’s statement on the issue, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wondered if it was “fixed match” between the ruling allies in which the PDP chief was trying to appear as a “crusader”.
“What’s the big deal? Geelani declined to avail a passport in 2011 so why is Mehbooba suddenly trying to appear as some sort of crusader,” Omar said on Twitter.
Source:: Indian Express