With right wing organisations training their guns on Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik for “attending a public meeting” in Islamabad to protest Afzal Guru’s execution, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday it would wait for a report from the departments concerned on whether he had violated the conditions on which he had been issued a short term passport.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the nodal Ministry for such issues, said it had begun a “thorough inquiry” into the whole episode and indicated that the leader’s passport could be revoked for attending a public meeting to protest Afzal’s execution.
Home Ministry sources here claimed the meeting was also attended by Jamat-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafeez Saeed – an issue on which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was considerably exercised.
But according to The Hindu’s Islamabad correspondent, Mr. Malik went on a 24-hour hunger strike on Saturday evening to press for the release of Afzal’s body to his family. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Saeed reached the venue of Mr. Malik’s hunger strike and the two met briefly. Though JuD activists had claimed that Mr. Saeed would lead the ‘ghayabana namaz-e-janaza’ (funeral prayers in absentia) for Afzal at the protest site, the prayers were led by a Jamat-e-Islami leader.
Mr. Saeed, in turn, went to Rawalpindi where he led another funeral prayer in absentia for Afzal. While the JuD has stepped up its demand for the execution of Sarabjit Singh — an Indian death row prisoner lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakpat Jail — Mr. Malik has repeatedly urged the Pakistan government not to hang him despite mounting pressure to do so.
Talking to reporters here, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh said: “We are conducting a thorough enquiry… When the report will come, we will take appropriate action against him [Mr. Malik].” MHA sources said Mr. Malik would be interrogated on his return to get details of his meetings with Pakistani leaders and other nationals, including Mr. Saeed.