The political leadership of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) continues to pay homage to veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani for his immense sacrifices for the liberation of Kashmir from Indian subjugation.
Former AJK president Sardar Masood Khan described Geelani as a determined leader who had not only spearheaded the peaceful liberation movement with courage, bravery, and steadfastness for over a half-century but also awakened an enduring spirit of freedom in the hearts of Kashmiri youth.
“Revered by his followers and respected by peers, Geelani was supreme and unquestioned leader beyond a shadow of a doubt. He inspired and led the peaceful freedom movement for decades, galvanised youth and political cadres for generations and emerged as an icon for liberty and self-determination," Masood added.
Read more: Geelani’s quiet funeral
Terming him the most robust voice of the Kashmiri resistance against the Indian rule, the former president of the liberated part of Kashmir said that Geelani never made compromises on the Kashmir issue, never changed his stance on the conflict, never bowed to tyranny and was never intimidated.
“He [Geelani] kept the flag of liberty flying in the darkest hours of IIOJK’s history with sheer grit and an unbreakable resolution and kept fighting for Kashmiris’ identity and restoration of their trampled rights.”
Masood maintained that the late leader suffered under brutal Indian rule; persecuted and hounded but he never accepted the unacceptable. Geelani, he also said, has departed to the eternal abode his spirit and his clarion call will continue to inspire and mobilise freedom lovers until they liberate IIOJK. “He has left behind followers who would carry the baton. His legacy lives on.”
About his association with the freedom leader, Masood, also an ex-Pakistani ambassador, said he had met Geelani in 2004 in New Delhi and continues to admire him all his life. “Whenever I would go to foreign countries for the Kashmir campaign he would send a message: 'You represent the people of the entire state, not just Azad Kashmir'."
Also read: Geelani passes away in IIOJK
Addressing a condolence reference in memory of Syed Ali Geelani in Muzaffarabad, Chaudhry Latif Akbar, the Leader of Opposition in the AJK Legislative Assembly, said that Geelani's entire life was a constant struggle. He was a true leader of the Kashmiri people whose struggle and entire life has revolved around the orbit of freedom.
The PPP leader said that the late Kashmiri leader endured imprisonment, oppression, and sacrifices for more than half a century for himself and his family but did not deviate from the cause of Kashmir’s freedom from India.
The President of Germany-based Free Kashmir Organisation Dr Muhammad Siddique Kiani said, "Today we see Geelani in the ranks of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Ahmed Bin Bella of Algeria, and Omar al-Mukhtar of Libya, who fought the war of liberation of their nations till the last breath of their life and finally liberated their countries by defeating the enemy."
He vowed that his organisation would continue its efforts by making late Geelani's political struggle a beacon of light. He said that the death of Syed Ali Gilani was undoubtedly a great loss to Kashmiris but the flame of freedom that he lit will continue to burn brighter.
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