New Delhi, May 19: A passport for Kashmir separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is a subject of debate.
Should he be granted a passport or not has been debated at the Jammu and Kashmir state level and of course on television where bizarre comments such as throw away the Pakistan flag first and then take the passport have been made.
As childish as all this sounds, the real issue would be to make sure Geelani becomes politically irrelevant and punished for his crimes in India.
On the passport issue if one goes on to debate it, it would become a case of tinkering with the fringe issues only to come out a cropper at the end of it all.
The best way to deal with Geelani would be to:
-Make him politically irrelevant
-Punish him for anti national activities in India
-Cancel his citizenship
Geelani won't change even if he is given a passport:
C D Sahay, the former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing tells Oneindia that the issue here is not the passport. We need to deal with Geelani on the local level and make him politically irrelevant.
Passport as stated by the Supreme Court of India in the Satwant Singh Sawhney vs Union of India case is a fundamental right. The Supreme Court goes on to state that the government has no right to refuse a passport to a person who has applied for the same. It thus became necessary to regulate the issuance of passport and travel documents by law.
However as per the Passports Act, the same may be refused if:
-The applicant may, or is likely to, engage in such country in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
-The presence of the applicant in such country may, or is likely to, be detrimental to the security of India;
-The presence of the applicant in such country may, or is likely to, prejudice the friendly relations of India with that or any other country;
-In the opinion of the Central Government the presence of the applicant in such country is not in the public interest;
-The applicant is not a citizen of India;
-The applicant has, at any time during the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his application, been convicted by a court in India for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than two years;
-Proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the applicant are pending before a criminal court in India;
-A warrant or summons for the appearance, or a warrant for the arrest, of the applicant has been issued by a court under any law for the time being in force or that an order prohibiting the departure from India of the applicant has been made by any such court;
-Applicant has been repatriated and has not reimbursed the expenditure incurred in connection with such repatriation.
Deal with the core issue:
Sahay says that one needs to deal with the core issue not only in the case of Geelani but all others who act against the country. Whether you issue Geelani with a passport or not, it is not going to change his stand politically against India.
India could do well in dealing with the core issue. The aim should be to make him politically irrelevant. Next, his citizenship could be cancelled on strong grounds. Lastly all steps should be taken to punish him for anti national activities. These would be the core issues.
Certain considerations to be taken into account:
While dealing with the passport issue, the government would need to look into various aspects. When he had travelled abroad last time on a provisional passport did he indulge in anti national activities? If he had indulged in anti India activities, then what action had been taken?
We need to have concrete evidence and also build it up instead of going hyper active on the issue. If you have evidence that that his activities are anti India then deal with it here. When he fills his passport form he is obviously writing his nationality as Indian since he was born in an undivided India. Build a case so strong and cancel his citizenship.
Make sure that all cases against him are pursued strongly and sincerely and convict him. There may be various such cases. Tinkering at the fringe level will only ensure that you come out a cropper.