Pak Invitation: Visit Depends on Passport Revalidation, says Geelani

Riyaz Ul Khaliq



Syed Ali Geelani
Syed Ali Geelani

Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani flied to New Delhi along with Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) leaders including Altaf Shah, Peer Saif Ullah and Ayaz Akbar for octogenarian ailing leader’s medical check-up.

On Friday the top Hurriyat leadership had a dinner meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner to India at his Tilak Nagar residence in New Delhi. Geelani would be back in Srinagar on Sunday.

Diplomat Abdul Basit, who was accompanied by his deputy Mansoor Ahmad, handed over a “letter of appreciation and invitation” to Geelani extended by Pakistan premier, Mian Nawaz Sharief. There is no specific date for the visit.

While Geelani led Hurriyat spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar, said, “Pak PM paid rich tributes to resolve, determination, commitment, straight forwardness and sacrifices of Geelani,” the octogenarian leader has been invited by Nawaz Sharief to visit Pakistan.

Geelani was recently issued a passport by authorities when he intended to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. By the time he got nine months valid passport, his daughter was already in Srinagar. However, the passport validity was suspended for four weeks when Geelani “got green signal” from the United States embassy in India to attend a meeting of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

This time when Geelani’s passport is in his hands and awaits revalidation, will he be able to visit his “Muhsin Mamlikat-e-Khuda-Daad” only time will tell.

Geelani, who continues to be under supervision of specialised doctors, spends his winter in Indian capital city of New Delhi because of the intense Kashmir’s winter chill. Ever since he landed in Srinagar International Airport last Spring, he is under house detention. To welcome him, TeH had organized a grand rally which saw senior Hurriyat (g) leader Masarat Alam being arrested and subsequently lodged in Kotbalwal jail under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Expressing his willingness to visit Pakistan, Geelani said, “they (India) should revalidate my passport so that my visit to Pakistan is facilitated.”

A chest disease patient, Geelani went to see the doctor on Friday who has prescribed him new medicines. “My chest has been bad since the last many months and I am feeling feeble and weak.” In response to a question whether his continuous detention back home affects his health, Geelani replied, “probably that is what the authorities want.”


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