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Geelani may undergo surgery in Delhi

March 15, 2007 22:14 IST

Ailing hard-line Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani may undergo surgery in New Delhi following indications of a considerable 'delay' by the United States in granting him a visa to travel to that country to be treated for cancer.

"We are waiting for the concerned doctor to return from abroad and possibly he will have to undergo an operation here only," Geelani's son Naseem said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Geelani and Naseem had applied for US visas earlier this week so that the chief of the hard-line Hurriyat faction could trvael abroad for treatment.

"However, we have been informed unofficially that his case would have to go to Washington for clearance by the US State Department for obvious reasons," Naseem said, adding, "It seems to be a time consuming exercise and there is also no guarantee whether the visa will be given."

Asked whether any decision had been taken, he said, "No decision has been made as yet. Certain applications require administrative processing by the law of the land."

Earlier this month, Geelani was given a passport valid for a year on humanitarian grounds after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened so that he could seek treatment abroad.

Dr Singh had asked officials to extend all assistance to Geelani to facilitate his visit abroad.

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