Veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani passed away in Srinagar late Wednesday. The prominent leader died at the age of 92.
It prompted the Indian authorities to impose a security clampdown in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The occupation forces put up barbed wire and barricades on roads leading to Geelani’s house in the main city of Srinagar after the family announced the death.
Announcements were made from loudspeakers of the main mosque near Geelani’s residence asking people to march towards the house.
But police said no one in the valley would be allowed to leave their homes. Thousands of security forces were immediately deployed and mobile internet services were cut across the valley.
Scores of armoured vehicles and trucks patrolled main roads in Srinagar.
Geelani was an uncompromising campaigner against Indian rule in the region divided between India and Pakistan since 1947.
He spent years in jail and had been under house arrest for most of the past 11 years. He had been ill for several months with heart and kidney problems.
Geelani was born on September 29, 1929. Geelani was a veteran of Kashmiri politics and the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir and All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC).
He was a staunch opponent of the Indian illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and led Kashmiris’ struggle for the right to self-determination. The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and often restricted to his home after that.
Previously, he was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir but later on founded his own party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
He served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a forum of freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir. He was a member of the Kashmir Assembly from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir three times (1972, 1977 and 1987).
Following the sad demise of Syed Ali Geelani, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Pakistan’s flag will fly at half-mast and a day of official mourning will be observed across the country.
“Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani who struggled all his life for his people & their right to self-determination,” the premier wrote on his official Twitter handle.
The premier said that Geelani suffered incarceration and torture by the occupying Indian state but remained resolute. “We in Pakistan salute his courageous struggle & remember his words: ‘Hum Pakistani hain aur Pakistan Humara hai’,” he wrote in another tweet.
Expressing his grieve, President Arif Alvi said: “With the death of Syed Ali Gilani, Kashmir has lost a great leader.” In a statement, he prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased and patience for the family.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also grieved over the demise of Geelani.
“COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa expresses the deepest grief on the sad demise of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, an icon of Kashmir freedom movement,” the DG ISPR quoted as saying in a tweet.
“His lifelong sacrifices & ceaseless struggle symbolises indomitable resolve of Kashmiris against Indian occupation,” it read.
Moreover, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also paid tribute to the veteran Kashmiri leader.
(WITH INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)
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