New Delhi/Srinagar: The ministry of external affairs on Thursday said the passport application of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a pro-Pakistan Hurriyat hawk, “cannot be processed in its present form” as it is an “incomplete” application, adding that he had neither paid the requisite fees nor submitted his biometric details and photographs.
An MEA official said he was not aware whether Geelani had filled in the “nationality” column in the passport application. Mr Geelani has applied for an Indian passport to go to Saudi Arabia and visit his ailing daughter.
Responding to queries on Geelani’s passport application, the MEA spokesperson said on Thursday, “We have seen media reports of Mr Syed Ali Geelani’s passport application. An incomplete passport application was received from him. Fees were not paid and the biometric details and photographs not submitted.
The application cannot be processed in its present form.” Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, meanwhile, said Geelani will have to write “Indian” in the nationality column to apply for the passport.
“A passport is the right of every Indian citizen and is issued by the ministry of external affairs after following due process. In case any applicant applies for a passport, he should fulfill all the formalities before his case is processed. As and when the matter is referred to the ministry of home affairs, we will process the case on merit.”
While Mr Geelani will now have to file a fresh application before he is allowed to travel abroad, the issue took on a political colour after various political parties jumped into the fray, with the PDP saying he should be given a passport on “humanitarian grounds” and the Congress and BJP sparring over the issue.
Sources in Srinagar said Mr Geelani had submitted an online application for a passport so he could visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia but had so far failed to turn up at the Srinagar Passport Office to give his biometric data.
Since Mr Geelani falls in the prior approval category for issuing a passport, his application would be sent to the ministries of home and external affairs for their consent....