Nawaz Sharif invites Geelani to Pakistan
| Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 11:36
New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited Hurriyat Conference chairperson Syed Ali Shah Geelani to that country, the Kashmiri separatist leader and the organisation said on Saturday.
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," Geelani told IANS.
In a statement, the Hurriyat said Sharif's letter to Geelani paid "rich tributes to the resolve, determination, commitment, straight forwardness and sacrifices" of the leader.
"Your character and your actions are guiding principles for the coming generations of Kashmir and I am inviting you to Pakistan so that I too can gain something from your views on the present situation. Hope that you will spare time to visit Pakistan at the earliest," the Hurriyat quoted the letter as saying.
The statement said Geelani accepted Pakistan's invitation.
Geelani, however, told IANS that the visit would depend on whether India revalidates his passport.
"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.
He, however, said no specific date has been fixed for the visit.
"Sharif has invited me to visit Pakistan. Though no specific date has been set but I will visit Pakistan after the four-week suspension on my passport ends on October 21."
Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar told IANS that the passport was suspended on September 22 for four-weeks "to prevent him from attending an Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) foreign ministers meeting in New York".
Geelani was issued a short-term passport for nine months in July this year after the government rejected his application a month earlier saying it was incomplete.