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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Malik in trouble for sharing stage with Hafiz Saeed

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 12, 2013
First Published: 23:48 IST(12/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:11 IST(13/2/2013)

As the home ministry continues to debate revoking JKLF chief Yasin Malik's passport before it expires next month, BJP chief Rajnath Singh nudged the Centre to take up Malik and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed's anti-India activities with Islamabad.

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Malik had shared the dais with Hafiz Saeed in Islamabad to protest Parliament attack conspirator Afzal Guru's execution on Sunday.

Sources said intelligence agencies had been told to submit a detailed report on Malik's activities during his visit to Pakistan to meet his wife and child as well as other Kashmiri separatists including Mirwaiz Omar Farooq.

A team of Hurriyat leaders led by the Mirwaiz had also held meetings with Saeed and Hizbul chief Syed Salauddin during their visit to Pakistan in December.

The source said the home ministry favoured revoking Malik's passport in principle. But the government wants to take a considered view mindful of the circumstances in the Kashmir Valley in the backdrop of Afzal Guru's hanging.

Besides, the order of revocation wouldn't make much of a difference since Malik's passport anyway is due to expire next month.

"There are provisions in the Passport Act that Malik has clearly violated. Legally, there is no bar on revoking the passport," the source said, adding Malik would be anyway questioned on his return.

In the long term, Malik - as well as other Hurriyat leaders - could find permission to travel abroad more difficult to come by.

The separatist leaders do not have long term passports like other citizens but are given limited duration travel documents, valid for a year or less.BJP chief, however, urged the government to go further.

Asking the government to "seriously" take cognizance of Malik sharing the public dais with Saeed, Singh said "India should use diplomatic channels to talk to Pakistan so that such incidents are not repeated."

"It's not a small issue," he said.

Precautions should also be taken while granting visa to such persons and their activities should be kept under watch.

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