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Mar 09, 2013 at 10:35pm IST

JKLF chief Yasin Malik returns from Pakistan, challenges India to arrest him

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik returned from Pakistan on Saturday evening amid protests by Shiv Sena activists at the Delhi airport. He will be spending the night in Delhi. His trip to Pakistan was shrouded in controversy after he was seen sharing the dais with one of India's most wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed in Islamabad. The separatist leader from Jammu and Kashmir had shared the stage with the terrorist at a protest against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging.

He is set to travel to Srinagar on Sunday. No case has been made out against him so far - either under the Passport Act or the Indian Penal Code. Malik, who arrived by a Pakistan International Airlines(PIA) flight from Islamabad, faced a volley of questions by newsmen for sharing dais with Saeed, wanted by India in connection with 2008 Mumbai attack. The separatists leader said, "If the Indian State wants to arrest me, that is their wish. If they want to take away my passport or put me in jail, they can go ahead. Jail is my second home."

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He added that he had not invited Saeed, the 26/11 mastermind, at the rally. "What's the crime I have committed? I neither invited him nor was I organising the protest rally. I was an invitee myself," said Malik, who was accompanied by SAR Gilani. Gilani was acquitted in the Parliament attack case. The JKLF leader said the Government was free to act and withdraw his passport, which was due to expire on March 19. "I wonder why am I being targeted now. I had met Saeed in 2006," he said.

As he was speaking to reporters, a group of Shiv Sanik activists tried to hit him but the attempt was foiled by the police personnel who had anticipated trouble upon his arrival. Asked what could be his stand in case he was questioned or detained by police, Malik shot back, "Let me rot in jail," and repeated JKLF's stand on Kashmir issue.

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Ahead of Malik, moderate Hurriyat Conference group led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had also visited Pakistan where they had met Saeed. Mirwaiz later complained that his passport was not cleared for renewal in time last month that would have facilitated his visit to Egypt for a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

With additional information from PTI

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