Pakistan visit depends on passport revalidation: Geelani

Jammu and Kashmir News

Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani on Saturday confirmed he has received an invitation to visit Pakistan from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but said the visit would depend on whether India revalidates his passport.

The Hurriyat leader, who is presently in New Delhi for a medical check-up, had dinner with Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Friday, when he was extended the invitation from Sharif to visit Pakistan.

“Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has extended an open invitation to me to visit Pakistan. No specific date has been set for my visit,” Geelani told IANS over phone.

“The Indian authorities had given me a passport for nine months which has now been impounded. They (India) should revalidate my passport so that my visit to Pakistan is facilitated,” he said.

Geelani said he would be back in Srinagar on Sunday. Doctors examined him in Delhi and prescribed new medicines for his chest ailment.

“They have been keeping me under house arrest since April 14 when I went back to Srinagar from Delhi,” the octogenarian separatist leader said.

Asked whether being under constant house arrest was affecting his health, Geelani said: “Probably that is what the authorities want.”

Geelani also condemned Friday’s incident in which a Kashmir Valley-bound truck was burnt in Udhampur district in which two people were injured and are now being treated in a hospital in Jammu.

“Certain forces are interested in repeating the situation of 2008 when an economic blockade was enforced on the people living in the Valley,” he said, but cautioned such forces that they were playing with fire.

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