SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday eased guidelines for obtaining of passports by families of militants, who have eschewed violence or are “silent”.
“Keeping in view the overall improvement in the security scenario in the State, the government has decided to further liberalize the policy for issuance of verification for obtaining passports by kins of militants,” an official spokesman said.
He said the passport issuance policy was liberalized after general public, political representatives and civil society members had raised the issue with the government and demanded citizen-friendly policy in issuing passports.
According to the amended policy, clearance will be issued for obtaining of passport for the purpose of performing Hajj/Umrah to a person, who had crossed over to Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK) and Pakistan for obtaining arms training after eruption of militancy in the State, but has returned, eschewed violence, silent, exhibited a good conduct and completed 15 years or more in the State from the date of his return and on the date of application.
The amended policy further states that clearance for issuance of passport will be granted in favour of persons, whose relatives have crossed over to PcK or Pakistan 15 years ago, is/are silent there and do not have any adverse report from the concerned agencies.
This is the second time in last three years that the State government has eased guidelines for obtaining of passport by kins of militants.
Earlier, in 2011, J&K government eased guidelines for issuing of passports to next of kin of militants.
As per 2011 guidelines, the police verification for issuance of passport purposes can be provided to the relatives of militants, who have died 10 years back or have surrendered 12 years ago.
However, there was no provision for issuing such clearance in respect of a person, whose militant relative was still in PcK or Pakistan.
There was no explicit provision to deal with the cases of such youth, who had returned to the State from PcK and Pakistan.
The family members of militants have been complaining that they were not being issued passports for being the relatives of militants.