Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who heads the moderate faction of Jammu and Kashmir's separatist Hurriyat Conference, plans to visit Beijing after Eid on Nov 28 on an invitation from an NGO.
Sources close to the Mirwaiz told IANS that the Mirwaiz would soon apply for a visa. If the visit comes through, he would become the first Kashmiri separatist leader to visit China.
Political circles attach significance to the proposed visit because it comes in the wake of diplomatic skirmishes between New Delhi and China, especially over Beijing's insistence of issuing stapled visas to citizens belonging to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chinese move on visas for Kashmiris parallels its objection to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own.