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President to visit Jammu and Kashmir

chandigarh Updated: Sep 23, 2012 23:10 IST
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President Pranab Mukherjee will arrive on a maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, after his election as Head of the State in July this year, to attend the convocation ceremony of University of Kashmir.

Mukherjee will hand out degrees and medals to outstanding scholars of the university on September 27 during its 18th annual convocation, official sources said.

This will be Mukherjee's first visit to the state since his appointment as the 13th President of the country.

Vice-president Mohammad Hamid Ansari was the chief guest at the 17th annual convocation of the university in June 2009.

There was media speculation that moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq might receive his PhD degree from the President during the convocation but a close aide of the separatist leader dismissed the possibility.

"Mirwaiz is not going to be back in Kashmir till early next month. There is no question of him attending the convocation," he said.

Mirwaiz, who is currently in Geneva to attend the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council, has only paid the required processing fees for getting the degree and not for attending the convocation.

In October 2010, Mirwaiz was conferred the PhD degree for his thesis on a book on political thought in Islam by famous saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, popularly known as Amir-e-Kabir in Kashmir.