Ministry of External Affairs will take a call on Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's plea for passport for travel to Saudi Arabia on the basis of facts and figures, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said here today.
His comment came even as his party BJP, which is a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government, Geelani should not be given passport till he admits to being Inidan and "apologises" for anti-national activities.
"There is mechanism in place. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will take a call on the basis of whatever the facts. Government of India (GoI) and MEA will take a call depending on all the facts and figures," Singh told reporters.
He was replying to questions about Geelani's reported application for passport for travel to Saudi Arabia to meet his ailing daughter.
"MEA will take into cognizance the issue and decide on it. I am sure that MEA will take a call on it. I am not in a position to deliver a verdict over it," the minister added.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP said Geelani should first acknowledge that he is an Indian and "apologise" for his anti-national activities if he wants an Indian passport.
"Passport cannot be given to Geelani till he apologises for the mistakes he has committed during the past 25 years. Passports are issued to Indian citizens and not the ones who don't believe in India and its democracy. If Geelani sahib wants the passport, then has to fall in the line and follow law of the land," BJP spokesman Khalid Jehangir was quoted as saying by the media reports.
On BJP seeking apology from Geelani, Singh, a senior leader of the party from the state, said "it is separate issue. I am talking as far as giving or not giving permission. There is mechanism in place for that. I do not want to get involved in that debate.