Geelani finally gets passport

Srinagar, July 21 (IANS) Senior hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani was on Tuesday issued a passport for which he applied for two months back.

“He had completed all the required formalities as per the laid down procedure following which we have issued a short validity passport to him. The passport has been mailed to his residential address,” an official at the regional passport office here said.

Geelani had applied for a passport in May this year so that he could visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.

A row had broken out between Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling alliance partners, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, on whether or not a passport should be issued to Geelani who publicly challenges the accession of the state to India.

The PDP said it was basically a human problem as an old father wanted to vis it his ailing daughter, but the BJP demanded Geelani must first accept the finality of the state’s accession t o India before his passport application was processed.

In his application for the passport, Geelani has mentioned his nationality as “Indian” which is mandatory for all citizens of the country who seek a passport to travel abroad.

While normally passports issued to Indian citizens are valid for ten years, short validity passport are valid for only one or two years.

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