J&K govt clears 58,000 passport applications

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said it had cleared 58,484 out of 84,928 passport applications in the state till December-end.

In 2010, 65,416 applications were received out of which 61,217 were cleared, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani told the Legislative Assembly.

In the previous year, 84,928 applications were received and 58,484 were cleared, he said.

Earlier, PDP, NC and Congress members raised the issue saying the failure of the state CID to grant verification certificates is leading to delay in issuance of passports.

"I want to assure the House that the Chief Minister has personally issued directions that the passports of Hajis will not be withheld on account of applicants' relatives having alleged links with militants," the Minister said.

The Chief Minister had made it clear that nobody could be denied passport on the plea that his relative or next of the kin is involved in militancy.

"This is a clear policy and we are committed to it," Wani said.