Syed Ali Shah Geelani (September 29, 1929 – September 2021) was a separatist leader in Jammu and Kashmir. He was first a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir but later founded the Hurriyat Movement. He served as chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a pro-separatist party in Jammu and Kashmir. Syed Ali Geelani was MLA from Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and 1987. He left Hurriyat in June 2020.
Syed Ali Geelani was born on September 29, 1929, in Sopore Baramulla, a town in North Kashmir. He studied at Sopore, and completed his education at Oriental College, Lahore (now in Pakistan).
Geelani lived in Haiderpura, Srinagar. Geelani has 2 sons. Naeem and Naseem, and 4 daughters Anisha, Farhat Jabeen, Zamshida, and Chamshida. Anisha and Farhat Geelani have daughters from their second marriage. Naeem and his wife are both doctors who lived in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and practiced medicine, but returned to India in 2010. Geelani’s youngest son Naseem works at an agricultural university in Srinagar. His grandson Izhar is a staff member of a private Indian airline. Gilani’s daughter Farhat is a civil trainer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and her husband is an engineer there.
His other grandsons are studying in India’s leading schools. His cousin Ghulam Nabi Fai is currently in London. Rowa Shah (son-in-law of SAS Geelani), daughter of Kashmiri separatist Altaf Ahmad Shah, is a journalist. She previously worked as a journalist in India in 2014 with organizations which include Dawn, IANS, Quint and The Indian Express.
Geelani was seen as a separatist leader in Kashmir. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has blamed Geelani for the rise in militancy and bloodshed in Kashmir. While Omar’s father and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah has urged Geelani to follow the path that has helped Kashmiris. Avoid further destruction. . In October 2013, he was re-elected for a fourth term as chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (G), a faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which split in 2003. He founded the movement. The Hurriyat Party, for which he was elected chairman separately in September 2013 for a three-year term.
Geelani has called for several general strikes or bandhs in response to the killing of unidentified suspected militants, local militants and civilians in Kashmir. And Kashmir Contact Group member countries were invited to attend the annual meeting of foreign ministers. Later, Geelani sent a letter to the United Nations outlining six confidence-building measures.
Geelani said that although Pakistan has supported the indigenous struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir morally, diplomatically and politically. It does not mean that Pakistan can take any decision on our behalf.
Syed Ali Geelani will only support a dialogue process aimed at resolving the Kashmir issue. According with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state. But he believed that dialogue between India and Pakistan begins under diplomatic compulsion and is nothing more than a one-time delay. He believed that Kashmiris were not enemies of India and had no grudge against its people. We want a strong India and Pakistan and this is possible only when the Kashmir issue is resolved and the path to peace, prosperity and development in the region is paved.
Geelani has been repeatedly criticized by Indian authorities for inciting violence in the region and acting as Pakistan’s off-shot. Geelani has openly stated that he is not Indian. Traveling on an Indian passport is a must for every Kashmiri as Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory between India and Pakistan. “We are Pakistanis, Pakistan is ours,” he told a large gathering of his supporters.
Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, a senior leader of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and son of Sheikh Abdullah, criticized Geelani for acting on dictations given by Pakistan. He accused Gilani of being a “double agent” on Pakistan’s “ISI payroll”.
Relations With Pakistan
Pakistan also had openly supported Geelani. A three-member delegation of the Pakistan High Commission led by Abdul Basit met Geelani in March 2015 at his Malviya Nagar residence. The change of government in New Delhi also invited Geelani to a Pakistan Day celebration on March 23. The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi formally invites the separatist leadership of Jammu and Kashmir. On August 14, the Pakistani government awarded him its highest civilian award, the Pakistan Mark.
Geelani reportedly developed respiratory complications. He died on September 1, 2021 at his Haiderpura residence in Srinagar due to a long illness.