Geelani’s Passport Tied To National Security: GOI

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NEW DELHI: A decision on granting passport to Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani will be taken considering various issues, including national security, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday.

“The Home Ministry has not yet received anything regarding his (Geelani) application for passport. When we will receive it, we will take a decision taking into account various issue like national security,” he told reporters here.

Rijiju was replying to a question on the issue of granting passport to the hardline Hurriyat faction leader who has applied for the travel document to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

Ruling coalition partners PDP and BJP inj J&K are sharply divided over the Geelani passport issue with the regonal party saying it would approach the Centre for granting the travel document on “humanitarian” grounds.

Official sources said Geelani and his family members want to travel to Jeddah and had applied for passports online.

But he has not yet visited the regional passport office in Srinagar to give his biometric data and clicking the photograph. As per the new rules, an application must visit the passport office in person to give biometric details and click the photograph.

PTI quoting sources said after Geelani visits the passport office to complete the formalities, his application will be sent to the Ministries of Home and External Affairs for their comments as he falls in prior security clearance category for issuing a passport.

The Ministries, then, in consultation with the Jammu and Kashmir government, would take a final decision on granting the passport to him.

Geelani was issued passport in 2007, 2008 and 2011 with a validity of one year in each time. 

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