Pak visit: Hurriyat leaders may face heat

The Centre is "actively considering" not to renew the passports of Hurriyat leaders who recently visited Pakistan where they met JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen's Syed Salahuddin, both wanted for terror attacks in India.

The seven-member delegation led by All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had detailed discussions with both Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as ISI DG Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam during their visit in December last year.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it would also examine the case of JKLF leader Yasin Malik who shared the dais with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. Malik's passport will expire in March end while his month-long Pakistani visa is valid till February.

"We are also seeking the details of Hurriyat leaders who recently visited Pakistan and met Saeed and Salahuddin. Their 'limited validity passport' is allowed for one year and every year it needs to renewed. We are considering not renewing their passport," said a senior Home Ministry official.

On January 28, The Indian Express reported that the Hurriyat leaders returned from Pakistan with "advice" from the Pakistan Army to not start any direct negotiations with the Indian government for at least another year. Saeed and Salahuddin suggested to the Hurriyat leaders that use of violence was the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue.

On Malik's meeting with Saeed, Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said, "We are conducting a thorough inquiry. When the report comes, we will take appropriate action against him." Malik is also likely to be quizzed regarding his protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru.

The matter has also not gone down well with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) which said it is examining the matter and will take "prompt action". MEA's spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "I would like to confirm to you that this is a limited validity passport. It was based on NOC received from a variety of agencies."

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