Veteran Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, passed away at his Srinagar residence on Wednesday evening. He was a former member of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Yet, he will be remembered as an icon of pro-Pakistan resistance movement in Jammu and Kashmir.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani was a separatist leader in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was previously a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later on founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
He served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a conglomerate of pro-separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was an MLA from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and in 1987. He quit the APHC in June 2020.
A veteran campaigner against Indian rule, he had been under house arrest for much of the past 11 years.
After the announcement of his death, Indian authorities imposed a strict security clampdown in Srinagar, Kashmir’s main city, placing barbed wire and barricades on the roads near Geelani’s home.
Reports say that internet services and voice calling were suspended in most areas and a curfew was imposed in most areas of the city. His burial took place in the early hours of Thursday.
Geelani, a resident of Sopore, was battling severe lung ailments and dementia. He was looked after by his sons, who were allowed by the administration to visit him.
Prime Minister Imran Khan posted a tweet to mourn the demise. “Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani who struggled all his life for his people and their right to self-determination. He suffered incarceration and torture by the Indian state but remained resolute,” he wrote.
“We in Pakistan salute his courageous struggle and remember his words: ‘Hum Pakistani hain aur Pakistan Humara hai‘. The Pakistan flag will fly at half-mast and we will observe a day of official mourning,” Imran added.
Mehbooba Mufti said that she was saddened by the news of Geelani sahab’s passing away. “We may not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness & standing by his beliefs. May Allah Ta’aala grant him jannat & condolences to his family & well wishers, ” she said this in a tweet.