Mehbooba Mufti writes to EAM Jaishankar, seeks his intervention in issuing her passport

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday sought External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s intervention for her passport, saying she has been waiting for it for the past three years to take her 80-year-old mother on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

In a letter to the minister, she said her passport’s renewal has been pending as the Jammu and Kashmir CID gave an adverse report that issuing the travel document to her would undermine national security.

Mehbooba also highlighted the delay in issuing of passport to her daughter Iltija who wants to pursue higher studies outside the country.

“I am writing to you about a matter that has dragged on needlessly for the last three years, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said and added that “my mother (Gulshan Nazir) and I applied for passport renewal in March 2020”.

“J&K CID gave an adverse report that issuing passports to my 80-year-old mother and me would undermine national security. In J&K, it has become the norm to arbitrarily reject passport applications of thousands, including journalists, students and others, by misusing national interest as a pretext,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader said in her letter.

She said they moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and after the case “dragged” on for three years, the court gave clear directions that the Regional Passport Office in Srinagar should not operate as the CID’s “mouthpiece” by denying passports on vague grounds.

“In my case, I was asked to approach the Passport Authority of India which I have done multiple times since 2021. Unfortunately, I have not received a positive response yet. The inordinate and deliberate delay in issuing my passport is a grave violation of my fundamental right,” Mehbooba, who is currently in Jammu, said.

She said that “if suspending my basic rights in a democracy like ours is done with such brazen impunity and contempt, one cannot even imagine what an ordinary Kashmiri goes through”.

“My daughter Iltija applied for her passport renewal in June 2022. Her application too is in limbo and it seems that the Passport Office in Srinagar is yet again failing to discharge its duty,” the PDP leader said.

For the past three years, “I have been waiting eagerly to take my mother on a pilgrimage to Mecca”, she said and added that “as a daughter, I feel pained and anguished to be unable to fulfil such a simple wish because of petty politics”.

“I write to you hoping that you will look into the matter urgently,” she said in her letter to the external affairs minister.

Last week, Iltija filed a petition in the high court for issuance of passport, pleading that she needs the travel document immediately to pursue her higher education outside the country.

The 35-year-old, in the plea, had said her passport expired on January 2 and she had applied for a fresh passport in advance on June 8 last year.

In March 2021, Mehbooba and her mother were refused passports after the Jammu and Kashmir Police cited an “adverse report”.

Mehbooba’s passport expired on May 31, 2019, and she had applied for a fresh passport on December 11 in the next year, while her mother, wife of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, had applied for a passport in 2020 to undertake the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Mehbooba’s passport application is still pending but authorities released the passport of her mother early this month after the high court passed fresh directions to the passport officer.


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