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Kashmir: Geelani resigns as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat

21 March, 2018, 03:21 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Syed Ali Shah Geelani quits as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat party chairman but will continue to head Hurriyat

Octogenarian Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, known for his hardline stance on dialogue process and engagement with New Delhi, on Monday appointed his long-term aide Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai to lead his party Tahreek-e-Hurriyat Kashmir (THK), a constituent of a faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani. Geelani held the post for 15 years since the party was formed following a split in the Hurriyat Conference. It was launched in 2004 after Geelani reached an "agreement" with the Jamaat.

"So, I wilfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise the "shoora" (council) to arrange an alternative at the earliest", the hardliner said. In fact, three years ago, Geelani had chose to nominate him as his successor in the Hurriyat but the announcement was halted at the last moment after some members questioned Geelani making a nomination when organisation had an election system.

Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday resigned as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. He extended his fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization.


Although Geelani said that he was stepping down because of health problems and his age factor, but sources close to him said that he was under tremendous pressure from various quarters ever since he had begun issuing calls for long-stretched shutdowns in the valley causing financial loss to small traders and those connected with tourism.

There were many contenders, including his son Naeem Geelani, Democratic Freedom Party head Shabir Shah and Muslim League chairman Masarat Alam, who were tipped to succeed Mr. Geelani as the TeH's chairman.

Sehraie did not attend many executive council meetings of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and the Hurriyat as well. The 89-year-old leader has been continuously put under house arrest for the past 8 years. Geelani is not keeping well for the past several years. Shooba-i-Talaba was renamed as Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) later on and the current framework of IJT has been designed by Sehraie himself in 2001.

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