Syed Ali Geelani passes away

ISLAMABAD: Veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani, 91, passed away at his Srinagar residence on Wednesday evening, according to his family.

Under strict house arrest for around a decade, Geelani developed “breathing complications” on Wednesday and breathed his last, the family said.

Geelani, a resident of Sopore, was battling severe lung ailments and dementia. He was looked after by his sons, who were allowed by the administration to visit him.

There is no official word on the cause of death by the occupied Indian regime in Jammu and Kashmir.

As the news broke from local mosques in Srinagar, the occupational police and military forces encircled the residence of Geelani and threatened the bereaved family to hand over the body so as they could silently bury him, denying a public funeral to the most loved leader of Kashmir.

Internet service was snapped and a curfew was put in place to keep the public away from Geelani’s funeral.

Prime Minister Imran Khan posted a tweet to mourn the demise. “Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani who struggled all his life for his people and their right to self-determination. He suffered incarceration and torture by the Indian state but remained resolute,” he wrote.

“We in Pakistan salute his courageous struggle and remember his words: ‘Hum Pakistani hain aur Pakistan Humara hai‘. The Pakistan flag will fly at half-mast and we will observe a day of official mourning,” Imran added.

Kashmir Committee chief Shehryar Khan Afridi also expressed his condolences on the sad demise.

“Indian police is trying to snatch body from Gillani Sb’s family to deny a public funeral.

Brave Kashmiris are defying curfew to attend funerals. Indian regime would be responsible for any untoward incident. People must defy curfew and prove their love for the voice of voiceless,” tweeted Shehryar Afridi.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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