November 2000 News

Lone couple’s Srinagar honeymoon in April

13 November 2000
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Jammu: THOSE WHO want to see the newly weds of the Lone-Khan families on this side of the border will have to wait until April next that is when Peoples Conference Chairman Abdul Ghani Lone wants to hold ''a very big reception'' in Srinagar for his son and daughter-in-law. ''It is going to be a big feast, but we will not do it in winters. We will do it in April,'' Lone told The Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview here this morning. Lone was beaming with optimism after having read in newspapers that the government of India may finally clear his visit to Pakistan to attend his son Sajjad''s wedding. Sajjad Lone is getting married to Asma Khan, daughter of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Amanullah Khan in Rawalpindi in Pakistan on November 19. April is the spring time in Kashmir. The Valley comes out of three phases of harsh winter of ''Vchile Kalan, Chile Khurd and Chile Bucch'' at that time and that is the celebration time. That is the time Abdul Ghani Lone has chosen for ''wazwan'' _ Kashmiri feast that runs from 15 to 20 courses to accord reception to his son and the bride. Lone is senior executive council member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, that propagates secession from India. It is because of his secessionist voice that his passport was confiscated by the authorities. He had applied for the return of the passport and even moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He had moved a second application to the NHRC on November 11. ''If the newspaper reports are correct, I think that it is the NHRC intervention that might have worked,'' he said. Lone has made a special plea to Pakistan embassy in Delhi to give him visa even if he gets clearance on Saturday (when the embassy is closed). He has been assured that the needful would be done. He recently had a meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner Ashraf Jehangir Qazi along with other Hurriyat leaders. Lone has not invited PM Atal Behari Vajpayee or J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for the ''barat'' or marriage party that will go to Pakistan. ''It is reciprocal''. However, the bride''s father has extended invitations to all these leaders. This has attracted some controversy for Amanullah Khan in Pakistan for inviting Indian leaders to his daughter''s wedding.


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