Speakers have said that the late Syed Ali Shah Geelani was an embodiment of honesty, unwavering resoluteness, struggle and vision in the story of the Kashmir freedom movement.
They said that Geelani was the epitome of Kashmiri's struggle and resistance, whose passion, ideology, and vision about Kashmir were matchless. They said that Geelani not only presented the cause of Kashmir with great clarity but also united all his people for freedom of Kashmir and the right to Kashmiris’ self-determination, for which he paid a high price.
They were speaking at a memorial reference titled “Syed Ali Shah Geelani: His Struggle and Legacy”, organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in collaboration with the Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK).
The session was addressed, among others, by PML-N leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Veteran politician and writer Prof Khurshid Ahmad, AJ&K University Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, Centre for International Strategic Studies Muzaffarabad Executive Director Dr Asma Shakir Khwaja, All Parties Hurriyat Conference General Secretary Sheikh Abdul Mateen, ambassador (retd) Syed Abrar Hussain and IPS’ vice-chairman Dr Muhammad Mushtaq.
Khurshid Ahmad, while paying tribute to Geelani’s persistence, resolute courage, and resistance in the face of Indian atrocities and its illegal occupation of Kashmir, underscored that the central issue, for which he dedicated and sacrificed his life, was the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and a free plebiscite, without which the Kashmir dispute cannot be solved.
He pointed out how the Pakistani leadership has neglected their responsibility for the mission of this leader, whose only slogan was “we are Pakistani and Pakistan is ours” which still echoes in the hearts of Kashmiris and those fighting for the cause.
He emphasised that the freedom of Kashmir is an unsettled agenda of Pakistan’s independence and the pursuance of which demands a clear vision of narratives and ideology on part of Pakistan. This unity and clear vision have become a compelling need owing to increased Indian brutalities and war crimes in IIOJK.
Raja Zafar-ul-Haq also expressed his disappointment over the indecisive and non-serious role of Pakistan, particularly after the revocation of Article 360, while a stronger opposition emerged from within India by various political parties and leaders. However, at the same time, several opportunities often come in the international arena, where Pakistan should proactively defend the cause of Kashmir, he said.
Khalid Rahman, in his concluding remarks, pointed out bad governance to be the root cause of many things that are wrong with the world. In such an environment, the struggle for justice is not easy, which Geelani understood in all its aspects.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2022.
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