Former Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passes away at 92 at his residence in Srinagar

Syed Ali Shah Geelani was a separatist leader in Jammu & Kashmir. He served as the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference which is a conglomerate of pro-separatist parties in J&K.

Created On: Sep 2, 2021 10:59 IST
Syed Ali Shah Geelani passes away
Syed Ali Shah Geelani passes away

Former Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on September 1, 2021, at the age of 92. The news of the Separatist leader’s demise was confirmed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Geelani had been suffering from various ailments for the past two decades. As per the family sources, the former Jammu & Kashmir legislature died at around 10.30 pm.

After the news of Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s death came out, an alert was sounded in the valley, and restrictions were also imposed including the suspension of internet services in the valley. IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar asked to maintain law and order in the Union Territory.

PDP leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti extended her condolences via Twitter, “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.”

Syed Ali Shah Geelani: Face of Kashmiri separatist politics

•  Syed Ali Shah Geelani was a separatist leader in Jammu & Kashmir and was previously a member of Jammat-e-Islami Kashmir but he later on founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

•  Geelani had served as the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference which is a conglomerate of pro-separatist parties in Jammu & Kashmir.

•  In 1972, 1977, and in 1987, Geelani was an MLA from the Sopore constituency of Jammu & Kashmir.

•  Geelani was always viewed as the key separatist leader who was also blamed by the former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for the rise in bloodshed and militancy in Kashmir.

•  In June 2020, Geelani resigned as the Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, complaining over the failure of the faction to lead people after the abrogation of J&K’s special status.

Geelani on Kashmir and separatism:

Syed Ali Shah Geelani had said that while Pakistan supported the struggle of the people of J&K, it doesn’t mean that Pakistan can also take a decision on our behalf.

Geelani supported a dialogue process aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state, however, he also believed that the dialogue between India and Pakistan starts under diplomatic compulsions.

He was of the opinion that Hurriyat is not against a dialogue process between India and Pakistan, but without the involvement of the Kashmiri people, such a process has proved to be meaningless.

Relations with Pakistan:

Pakistan has openly supported Geelani. In March 2015, the three-member delegation from Pakistan High Commission had also met him.

Geelani was also invited for the Pakistan Day function on March 23 and Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has also been ritually inviting the pro-separatist leadership of J&K.

Geelani was awarded the highest civilian award by the Pakistani Government, Nishan-e-Pakistan.

Personal Life:

Geelani was born on September 29, 1929, in the town Sopore Baramulla, North Kashmir. He received his initial education in Sopore and finished his studies at the Oriental College, Lahore (present-day Pakistan). He is survived by two sons and four daughters.

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