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Cancer-hit Geelani to Travel Abroad for Specialized Treatment

Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, diagnosed with renal cancer, is awaiting his travel documents to go to the US or Britain// for specialized treatment.

The chairman of the breakaway faction of the Hurriyat Conference underwent a biopsy and other medical examinations at the Apollo Hospital here Monday.

"Doctors have diagnosed that Geelani suffers from severe renal cancer," Ayaz Akbar, Geelani's personal secretary, told IANS.

He is at stage III of renal cancer and the infection has spread to the renal pelvis and into the wall of the kidney, Akbar said. Geelani has been removed from Apollo Hospital and is resting at a friend's residence in the capital.

Doctors have advised the separatist leader to go abroad and undergo specialised treatment of laser therapy to remove cancer cells from his only kidney or a renal transplantation. Geelani's right kidney was removed in 2003.

Akbar, however, said the leader's passport application was pending with the external affairs ministry.

"Apollo Hospital doctors have suggested that Geelani be operated in the US or Britain but he is being denied travel documents. We hope the central government will consider our request," Akbar said.

Geelani's passport was impounded in 1981 and he has not been allowed to move out of India. But he was permitted to go on Hajj pilgrimage in 2006.

"We hope India will consider our appeal on humanitarian grounds and allow Geelani to travel abroad," Akbar said.

Staunchly pro-Islamabad, Geelani seeks the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan.

Geelani broke away from the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference in 2003, alleging that his colleagues had not stuck to the Hurriyat constitution in the 2002 state assembly elections.


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