‘Mirwaiz against issuing passport to Geelani’

Last Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 19:12

Srinagar: The turf war between rival
factions of the Hurriyat Conference had reached a point where
moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq counseled against issuing
a passport to hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani for seeking
treatment in the United States saying he would "stir up
trouble", according to American diplomatic cables released by
WikiLeaks.
"When we met Mirwaiz in February, he said it would be
a big mistake for the GOI (Government of India) to issue
Geelani a passport to travel, because he would stir up
trouble," a March 2007 US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks
said.

The cable with a subject title "Kashmiri rejectionist
hardliner Geelani seeks US visa" was written by Pyatt --
apparently the then US Charge d`Affaires Geoffrey Pyatt.

Geelani had applied for a visa to travel to the US for
medical treatment for cancer in his remaining kidney. The US
had later denied visa to Geelani.
While making a cost-benefit analysis of issuing a
visa, the US official had believed Geelani`s travel to their
country will "physically" take him out of the political
picture in India.

"Mirwaiz will not have Geelani breathing down his neck
in a delicate political moment in the Valley," the diplomatic
cable said referring to the Indo-Pak dialogue process which
was believed to have thrashed out a solution to Kashmir issue.

One of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks had
quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying New Delhi and
Islamabad had in principle agreed on a solution to Kashmir.

Washington had mulled an alternate plan of sending
Geelani to a third country like Singapore where he would not
engage in as much "grandstanding or fundraising" supported by
the local Kashmiri community.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 19:12

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