Absentee funeral prayer of Geelani offered at Secretariat

By Hina Kiyani

ISLAMABAD: The veteran Kashmiri freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani was laid to rest early Thursday morning in Srinagar amidst heavy deployment of Indian occupation force who had earlier also snatched the body from the family.
A funeral prayer in absentia was offered at the lawn of Parliament House here which was attended by President Dr. Arif Alvi, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi, and the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid.
Besides, the federal ministers, parliamentarians and senior officials of National Assembly and Senate also attended the prayer.
After the funeral prayer, President Alvi told media that Kashmir issue could no more go on the way India was trying to suppress it rather the Kashmiri people would soon win freedom.
To a question about the snatching of late Geelani’s mortal remains by Indian forces, the president said India had not done this merely to Ali Geelani rather all minorities there were facing the similar humiliating treatment.
Through such discriminatory policies, India was burning a fire within its own which would ultimately annihilate it needing no other to play a role in this regard.
President Alvi said Pakistan could have got Kashmir liberated from Indian occupation but the country banked upon the commitments by the United Nations which unfortunately were not fulfilled.
Prime Minster Imran Khan, while paying tribute to the resilient struggle of late Syed Geelani, expressed grief over his demise. He also announced a day of mourning when the national flag would fly at half-mast.
In his condolence message, Imran Khan said that Geelani had “struggled all his life for his people and their right to self-determination. He suffered incarceration and torture by the occupying Indian state but remained resolute.”
The AJK government announced three-day mourning across the state.
The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and was often restricted to his home after that.
Pakistan strongly condemned the “barbaric act” of snatching of the mortal remains of Syed Geelani from his family.
“Government of India is so afraid of Syed Geelani and what he stood for that they have now resorted to this inhuman act even after his passing away,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.
He said this showed the degree of callousness on part of the Occupation Forces and demonstrated beyond doubt that India would trample all civil and human values in perpetuating its occupation of IIOJK.
The spokesperson also urged the international community to take serious note of this unprecedented and egregious situation in the IIOJK and hold India to account for its breaches of the international human rights and humanitarian laws.