Geelani Applies for Passport, Puts Mufti in a Tight Spot

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Hurriyat Leader Wants to See His Ailing Daughter in Saudi Arabia

SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani Friday submitted an online application form for passport so that he can travel to Saudi Arabia to visit his ailing daughter along with his family.

Reports said that both Hurriyat (G) chairman and his wife have mentioned that one of their daughters, Farhat Jabeen Geelani, who is living in Jeddah is suffering from ill health and that the visit is purely personal and not a political one.

“She is suffering for serious nerve problems and is looking forward to see her father. Geelani sahib is very much attached to her too and is desperate to see her,” said Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Married in Meerut, Farhat, in her 30s, is staying with her husband in Saudi Arabia’s capital Jeddah for several years now.

Geelani while applying for the fresh passport has mentioned that he along with his wife would leave for Jeddah as soon as possible so as to inquire about the ailing health of his daughter.

Reports said that Geelani’s son Syed Naseem also applied for the passport. When asked, Naseem confirmed, saying that his father, mother and he himself has submitted the online passport form so that the family could visit Jeddah at the earliest.

“Rest of the formalities will be completed once the government gives nod to it,” he said.

Srinagar passport officer Firdous Iqbal said Geelani’s application will be processed like any others. “Given his age and health, we can expedite processing of his papers. He has to follow the rules though,” Iqbal  was quoted as saying.

Geelani applying for travel documents has always got caught in a political knot in the past. In 2011, Geelani applied for the passport to travel abroad for specialized treatment for his kidney ailment. However, the travel documents were refused by the then government saying Geelani failed to fulfill all requirements. In 2013, he was again not allowed to visit Pakistan.

Geelani has so far been denied travel documents by the successive governments.  In 2011, Geelani applied for the passport to travel abroad for specialized treatment for his kidney ailment. However, the travel documents were refused by the then government saying Geelani failed to fulfill all requirements. In 2013, he was again not allowed to visit Pakistan.

Chief Minister Sayeed, also state home minister, may see himself in a tight spot, being a votary of free movement of separatists and fighting them ideologically. 

Akbar said it was a test for the state government as any negative decision will expose the hollowness of the Sayeed’s so-called ‘battle of ideas’.”

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