Mirwaiz denied passport for OIC meet
Srinagar, Feb 6: The axe of the bitterness created by the recent LoC skirmishes between India and Pakistan seems to be falling on Kashmir separatists. Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was Wednesday disallowed to attend an Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) meet in Cairo.
The development comes a few days after Jammu and Kashmir government granted sanction to the prosecution of another Hurriyat (M) leader Nayeem Ahmed Khan. Mirwaiz was invited by the OIC to attend a conference on February 7 in Cairo. Talking to Greater Kashmir over phone from New Delhi, Mirwaiz said he had fulfilled rest of the formalities and was waiting for the passport. “My passport expired in January 2013 and I applied for its renewal. I approached the concerned authorities but I was told it is under process,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said a wrong impression was being created that Hurriyat indulges in India-bashing during meetings in foreign countries. “Let me make it clear that our aim is not to attack India in our speeches, but to work for Kashmir resolution. The restrictions imposed on us won’t stop us from doing so. Hurriyat will continue to work for the peaceful and amicable solution of Kashmir issue,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate that on one hand New Delhi talks of holding dialogue while restrictions are imposed on the movement of Kashmiri leadership. “We have already conveyed our message to the OIC through a letter. I hope OIC will continue to support the Kashmiri struggle and help build pressure on India to resolve the issue as per the aspirations of people,” Mirwaiz said.
Regional Passport Officer Srinagar, Firdous Iqbal, admitted that Mirwaiz had applied for the renewal of passport. “His passport is under process,” he said.
Inspector General of Police, CID, B Srinivasan said: “I have no idea about the issue. I am not aware of it.”
Sources said Government of India has decided to test waters in Kashmir by tightening the noose around the separatists following the tension between India and Pakistan.
“Mirwaiz’s meetings with the top commanders of various militant outfits in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and Pakistan could be one of the reasons why he has been barred for traveling abroad,” a source said.
He said the Hurriyat (M) Chairman’s visit to Pakistan in December last year had raised many eyebrows as he had called for re-unification of divided parts of Kashmir besides showering praises on Islamabad’s Kashmir policy.
Senior Hurriyat (M) leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, who accompanied Mirwaiz to Pakistan, said, “Mirwaiz should have been allowed to attend the OIC meet. His participation in the conference could result in growth of relations between India and Pakistan.” Meanwhile, Awami Action Committee convened a meeting of its executive council at Mirwaiz Manzil, Rajouri Kadal, here where members strongly condemned the restrictions imposed on Mirwaiz’s travel. “Denying passport to Mirwaiz tantamount to curbs on freedom of speech and freedom of travel,” said AAC spokesman Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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