Geelani gets passport on 'humanitarian grounds'

Geelani gets passport on 'humanitarian grounds'

On May 19 this year, Geelani and his wife had submitted an online application for passport to travel to Saudi Arabia to visit their ailing daughter.

After two months of delay, the Government of India Tuesday finally issued nine-month valid passport to the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani. 

“We have issued passport to Geelani. It was dispatched to his residential address today only,” Regional Passport Officer (RPO), Srinagar, Firdous Iqbal told Greater Kashmir.  

On May 19 this year, Geelani and his wife had submitted an online application for passport to travel to Saudi Arabia to visit their ailing daughter. Both had mentioned that one of their daughters, FarhatJabeenGeelani, who is residing in Jeddah, is suffering from ill-health and that the visit is purely personal and not political.

Married in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, Farhat is staying with her husband in Jeddah for several years now.

Last month, Geelani had appeared at Regional Passport Office here to give his biometrics necessary for issuance of the travel document. 

Talking to reporters outside the passport office later, he had said, “I am not Indian by birth. It is a compulsion.”

Official sources said the J&K Government had recommended issuance of passport to the Hurriyat (G) chairman on humanitarian grounds. “J&K Government had written to Ministry of External Affairs which accepted the recommendation,” a senior official said. “After the MEA nod, his verification was sent to the RPO Srinagar few days ago.” 

He said Geelani’s passport is valid for nine months. 

Geelani was first issued passport in 1980 when he participated in an International Islamic Conference in US. On the same passport, he performed Hajj in 1981. His passport was seized in 1983 for his alleged anti-India addresses.

After militancy started, Geelani was given passport for Hajj in 1995 and 2005. In 2007, the government issued him passport for treatment in the US, but was denied visa for his criticism of American policy in Iraq. In 2011, Geelani applied for passport to travel abroad for his kidney treatment. However, the travel documents were refused by the then government, saying he “failed to fulfill all requirements.”