September 2004 News

Mirwaiz allowed to travel abroad

17 September 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

New Delhi: In a 'positive gesture', the Centre has allowed moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq to travel abroad. The move by the Government is being seen as 'softening of the approach' towards the moderate Kashmiri separatists to revive the stalled Centre-Hurriyat dialogue and bring it back on track, sources said. The Mirwaiz, who left for Jeddah on Wednesday to perform Umrah, has been issued travel documents for three months to visit the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia, the sources said. Passports of all the separatist leaders, including the Mirwaiz, were impounded by the Centre on the grounds that they indulged in anti-India activities abroad. The Hurriyat faction, led by the Mirwaiz, has already held two rounds of talks with the previous NDA Government. The crucial third phase of the dialogue with the Congress-led UPA Government has been delayed. The sources said the move will send a 'positive signal' among the Kashmiri separatists to continue the dialogue. 'The move is meant to be a Confidence Building Measure to bring the stalled process back on track,' they added. In January 2003, the Centre had suspended the Mirwaiz’s passport on the eve of his visit to the US. (UNI)


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