November 2000 News

Lone cools his heels in Delhi as son weds in Pindi

6 November 2000
The Times of India
Bisheshwar Mishra

New Delhi: Peoples Conference chairman Abdul Ghani Lone, whose son Sajjad is to wed Pakistan-based Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Amanullah Khan''s daughter Asma, is camping in the Capital for clearance of his passport. The wedding is to take place at Rawalpindi on November 19. While home ministry sources say the ministry has no objection to anyone going over to attend the marriage, they, however, added that the MEA has not yet sought their opinion on the matter. Asked if the home ministry would authorise the clearance for Lone, the source said, ''When the MEA seeks, we will give our views.'' All Party Hurriyat Conference chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat along with JKLF chief in India Yasin Malik are arriving in New Delhi on Tuesday to secure clearances of their passports as they too have been invited to the wedding, according to an APHC source here. Like Lone Sr, their passports also have expired. Interestingly for once the home ministry does not see any politics behind this wedding. ''It is a love affair and lets not give it too much importance,'' said a senior ministry functionary. Lone''s wife and elder son Bilal Ghani and his wife Farhad have been allowed to go to Rawalpindi and as have some relatives, sources disclosed. But there is little likelyhood of Lone Sr and other senior APHC members being allowed. Incidentally, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah who too has been invited to the wedding has declined to accept it. Asked about permission from the Pakistan government, the APHC functionary said: ''First we have to get the passport, only then can we apply for a Pakistani visa.'' Asked about Bhat''s passport, for which he applied a month ago, a home ministry source denied that it has received any request yet.


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