‘Geelani Wants to Visit Ailing Daughter, But Will Not Beg’

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SRINAGAR: Rejecting the statement by a Bharatiya Janata Party that chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani must apologise for his “anti-national activities” before he is issued a passport, a spokesman of the amalgam said “there is no question of any apology for demanding right to self-determination.” 

Mr Geelani will not beg for passport as every person has a right to have a travel document to visit to any place, spokesman Aiyaz Akbar said adding though he (Geelani) wanted to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. 

He said the daughter of Mr Geelani, who is living in Jeddah, is seriously ill. He said Mr Geelani has applied for a passport in 2011 in the office of Regional Passport Officer (RPO), Srinagar. However, since then nothing has been heard from the RPO, Mr Ayaz said, adding “it is the right of a person to get a passport for travelling abroad.” 

He said during the British rule in India and Pakistan, the then government issued passports to senior Indian leaders who were fighting against the British occupation and allowed them to travel outside India. 

Mr Ayaz said Geelani remained under house arrest for the past about three weeks and he was not being allowed to move out by security forces and state police personnel deployed outside his Hyderpora house. 

A BJP spokesman had said that Geelani should acknowledge he is an Indian and “apologise” for his anti-national activities if he wants to get passport to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

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