Srinagar: Indian government is issuing passports to Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and his mother with permission to visit one only country, Saudi Arabia, for pilgrimage, a media report said Sunday.
The government was “initially reluctant” to grant the passports to Mirwaiz. It later agreed to his request to take his mother for pilgrimage to Makkah, The Sunday Express reported, quoting sources.
Confirming the development, Mirwaiz told Kashmir Narrator that he has completed all formalities and is about to receive the passport. “The passport is for one year, and for Saudi only,” he said.
Mirwaiz had applied for renewal of his passport to go to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. His Short Validity Passport (SVP) had not been renewed since 2013 and he had not been allowed to travel abroad for the past five years.
“Mirwaiz had applied for a passport to take his mother for Umrah. With the administration raising several objections and creating hurdles, it was pending for months. When it was brought to the attention of BJP leaders, they felt his demand was genuine, so they persuaded the Central government,” the Express reported.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, in-charge of J&K, “intervened in the matter. According to a source, he took up the matter with the Home Ministry as the request was for a genuine cause — for a pilgrimage,” it added.
In 2016, Mirwaiz had been invited for an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, but neither him nor other Hurriyat leaders were issued the SVP.