Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect 

The Indian Express reports that Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was denied US visa to visit US for medical treatment. The US has reportedly denied visa to Geelani for his failure to renounce violence as a means for achieving his political goal in Kashmir. In a statement issued here today, Hurriyat Conference termed the denial of visa as a “human rights violation”. Geelani’s purpose of visit to the US was not political but medical. It was a humanitarian issue which deserved sympathetic consideration,” Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akber told Indian Express.

 

The irony here is hard to miss. Geelani has not denied even once that the US contention that he believed in violence as a legitimate way to achieve his ends was a false one and that he believed in non violent means of protest and dissent. Geelani has thus tacitly accepted the fact that in his world view, it is OK to kill people who come in the way of his political and ideological objectives, even if terrorism is denounced by a large majority of the global community.

 

The ideological freedom to act according to the dictates of his conscience that he has claimed, even if abhorrent to most of us, is not some thing that he is willing to grant the United States government however. Ever since 9/11, the US government has taken a consistent stand to try and root out terrorism, which in itself is a laudable thing, though we may not agree with all of their methods. And consistent with their stated position, they have denied him a visa. And in response, the Hurriyat conference in a statement that is difficult to assimilate or fathom terms it a human rights violation.

 

 I do not know what the current data looks like but as far back as in 2002, the Tribune had reported that nearly 10,000 innocent civilians were among the 28,000 who lost their lives and property worth millions of rupees was destroyed. There are certainly many players fishing in Kashmir’s muddy waters, but Geelani’s group and those with similar ideologies were responsible for a part of this colossal human misery. Geelani and his cohorts didn’t care much to ensure the human rights of all those who had to leave their homes and hearths for ever and for all the widows and orphans that they and their actions have created. But when Geelani’s only remaining kidney turns malignant and treatment is needed in the US, suddenly human rights become important.

 

The irony extends further. India is a country that the Hurriyat Conference loves to hate. Pakistan is the land of destiny for them. Yet after the US visa refusal, when Imran Khan offered free treatment to Geelani at his fairly well equipped cancer hospital, then offer was declined and alternative treatment was arranged at Mumbai’s TataMemorialHospital. In comment, the Hurriyat spokesman had this to say “ We were told that after the US, the treatment in India ranks among the best in the world.” It is unfair to take digs at the plight of a seriously ailing man but clearly human rights looks and feel different from a hospital bed when one’s own survival is at stake and expediency prevails over reasoning and ideology. And kudos for once to the United States for not bending , though they could well have used the visa as a bargaining tool in the Kashmir chess game.

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