Passport is an official document issued by a government certifying the holders' identity and citizenship. It entitles the holder to travel to outside countries under the protection of the government that issue the passport.
Passport is under consideration for Syed Ali Shah Geelani Chairman Hurriyat Conference. This is an alert that if the passport is issued it may be construed as consent to nationality. Indian embassy in the country where Geelani will travel will take responsibility for his protection and help in a situation where he may need help.
This help can be legal advice and guarantees, financial tight-spot or health issues.
The passport holder can also be repatriated, or in the event of death a negotiated burial or cremation within the host country undertaken by the embassy.
The government of the passport issuing country extends their jurisdiction to all its affiliates, high commissions, and passport holders. A ship set sail in international waters displaying a flag of its parent country will also have jurisdiction of the country extended to the international waters. This extended jurisdiction also applies to army contingents residing abroad on duty for United Nations or requested by a friendly country. It therefore encompasses a broad ambit of responsibility laid on the country that issues a passport.
A passport holder can reside freely and derive all benefits in all affiliate countries and municipalities with reciprocal arrangement with the parent state. An international mafia is known to buy, sell and make counterfeit passports to facilitate illegal immigration and trafficking.
In UK and other countries post office provide application forms that require fees, National Health Number and photograph sent by post and the passport arrives at the door within a week or so. In India, the application needs clearance from the police. One of the important columns to fill is nationality.
There is evidence that Late Sheikh Nazir Ahmad who died recently as secretary National Conference never travelled outside India because in the application for passport it was incumbent for him to sign as Indian in the column for nationality. He refused.
It is also common knowledge that Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah wrote against nationality Jammu & Kashmir when he was a part of India delegation in 1948. His contribution to the debate at the UN on the Indian side was significant and he was there as the Prime Minister of J&K, his assertion became news and had significance.
Any law will have its obligations, duties and responsibilities. Geelani may have to hold an Indian flag if he is caught up in a demonstration in a foreign country. Taking the opposite view, the consent to grant a passport can be used to silence voice, to force assent, and to enfeeble the struggle for political freedom.
There are views expressed that say call for right to self-determination may be weakened and Geelani being the prime leader of this revolution, the total corpus of the political spectrum across may find it incompatible with the cause. Identity and citizenship that a passport stands for is the mainstay of the human rights principle of right to self-determination.