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Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Hurritat Conference)

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 5, 2009

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

From Wikipedia

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Born 29 September 1929 (1929-09-29) (age 79)
Sopore, Kashmir
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Tehreek-e-Hurriyat

Syed Ali Shah Geelani. سید علی شاہ گیلانی (born September 29, 1929)[1] is a prominent political leader from Jammu and Kashmir who favours the conditional accession of Kashmir to Pakistan. In his early Life, he had formed a party by the name Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, but later on, he dissolved his party and became a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir. However, due to a sequence of events, he has also reformed his own party for the struggle of breaking away from India and securing the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, which is a component of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, of which he is the Chairman.

Early life

Syed Geelani was born in the town of Sopore, which is located in the district of Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir. After his preliminary education in Sopore, he went on to graduate from the Oriental College in Lahore. He has two sons named Naseem and Nayeem, and five daughters.Only Kashmiri leader to have a mass support in all parts of kashmir


Syed Geelani has been an aficionado of Jihad, Muslim history and Islamic poetry for most of his life. He has been influenced from the writings of Nasim Hijazi, Allama Iqbal and Maulana Maududi.[2] He has authored more than thirty books and booklets about various topics in Urdu, which include the current separatist movement, his experience in jail, and his political beliefs. His books Roodad-e-Qafas, and ‘Kralagund se Pakistan tak’, describe his views on what he went through in prison. [3] The books also provide the analysis of others who were imprisoned along with him. Another book that he has written is Maqtal sey Vaapsi (A Return from the Execution Grounds).[4] In this tome Geelani mentions that he is constantly being put in jail for his pro Pakistan views, and for refusing an offer from the Indian intelligence to “play a double role” for them.[4] It also mentions the reasons why the current terrorism began, describes in detail the violations of human rights being committed by India, and explains his reasons on why Kashmir should merge with Pakistan. In his book, Safar-e-Mehmood Main Zikar-e-Mazloom, Geelani states that Islam is the inspiration in their struggle against “oppressive Indian troops”In 2007 during Geelani’s treatment in delhi he authored a book “ROHIDEEN KA SHANASA… IQBAL” and in 2008 he wrote second volume of the same book. “Geelani’s Safar-e-Mehmood Main Zikar-e-Mazloom released”. Kashmir Watch. http://www.kashmirwatch.com/showarticles.php?subaction=showfull&id=1182906866&archive=&start_from=&ucat=3&var0news=value0news.

Political Stances

Geelani does not think that the current peace process between India, and Pakistan has helped resolve the conflict.[5] He has blamed this on India, citing that they have not accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory, and have declared it an “integral” part of India.[6][7] Additionally, Geelani has stated that there cannot be a peaceful solution until human rights violations such as custodial killings, rapes and arrests by Indian Armed Forces are stopped.[6] He has also said while Pakistan has shown flexibility in its position, India continues to be rigid in its stance. Geelani believes that India is “cheating Pakistan”, and that it has no intention to solve the dispute. [5] He has also accused the Indian government of changing the demographics of Kashmir, by giving non-locals state subject certificates – required in order to buy land in Kashmir under Article 370 of India’s constitution – in order to make the Kashmiri people a minority in their own land.[8]

Although most of Geelani’s criticism is directed at India, he has also criticized the Pakistani governments for their dealings with India. When asked about Pakistan’s policy regarding Kashmir he stated “your strategy is to shake hands with the people who play with our lives, rape our daughters, arrest our people, kill them and discard their bodies in police stations”.[5] He has also criticized the Pakistani media for not reporting violations of human rights in the state of Jammu & Kashmir due to fear of undermining the peace process.

Geelani has blamed Pakistan’s recent handling of the conflict largely on ex-President Pervez Musharraf. He has said that Musharraf is succumbing to pressure from India and the U.S., and that he is “fearful of India’s military and economic power and has no faith in himself or his people”.[9] Geelani also states that Musharraf does not have support from the people of Pakistan regarding his position on Kashmir. He has told Musharraf to “leave us alone”, if he cannot support the Kashmiris the way Pakistan has been doing since 1947.[10] He has gone as far as to call the present regime headed by Musharraf an enemy of the Kashmiris, while maintaining that the Pakistani people remain their allies.[11]

To solve the conflict Geelani has said that India must withdraw its military, end human rights violations, and hold a plebiscite with the people of Kashmir deciding to join with either India or Pakistan.[12] Any other solution such as self-rule, joint control, demilitarisation, or more autonomy for Kashmir, is opposed by Geelani, who says self-determination which was promised by India and the United Nations is the only acceptable solution.“India rigid, indifferent on Kashmir”. News Network International. http://www.nni-news.com.pk/lastNode.php?transfer=yes&secure=yes&pointer=5258. </ref> Geelani admits that some of the population would prefer independence from both India and Pakistan, but he does not believe an independent Kashmir would be feasible, as Kashmir’s neighbours including China would not accept it.[13]

Self Determination

Geelani has said “Nobody supports terrorism. But this does not mean that a justified right should be curbed in the name of countering terrorism. Hindustan’s political leaders themselves used force against the British empire. Bhagat Singh sacrified his life on the gallows. On April 14, 2000, after my release from an Indian jail, some media personnel asked me what justification there was for infiltration. I responded, ‘Why did India send its troops to East Pakistan to support the movement there?’ The questioners were rendered speechless.”[5]Geelani is supported today by lakhs of kashmiri youth who consider Geelani saviour of kashmir and seek inspiration.People from Sopore and Anantnag are main supporters of Geelani.


Regarding Kashmiri Pandits, he is of the opinion that “We want to live with our Hindu and Buddhist Hindu brothers. We have never presured anyone. Hindu brothers who left Kashmir were never told by us to leave the state. They had to leave – leave or be killed. However Pandits don’t believe his theory and blame Mufti Mohammed Sayyed responsible who was the Home minister of India when carnage of Kashmiri Pandits happened.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sanghrash Samiti, an organization of the Pandits in Kashmir, accpets Syed Ali Shah Geelani as their leader and calls for all the Kashmirs to follow him as they do.[14]


Geelani has been diagnosed with renal cancer, and has been recommended by doctors to go overseas for treatment. After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened, Indian government agencies returned Geelani’s passport to his son.[15] His passport was seized in 1981 due to accusations of “anti-India” activities, and with the exception of his Hajj pilgrimage in 2006, he has not been allowed to leave India.[16]

During a regular check-up doctors discovered that Geelani’s “only kidney has developed malignancy“.[17] An infection forced doctors, four years ago, to remove his left kidney. Although the cancer was in its early stages, it was life threatening, and he needed to have surgery. Following the advice of his doctors at Apollo Hospital, Geelani was set to travel to either the UK or the USA for specialized treatment.[18] However his request for a visa was turned down by the Americans, and as his health deteriorated he went to Mumbai for surgery. Doctors at the Tata Memorial Hospital successfully performed surgery on his kidney.[19] The reason given by the U.S. for turning down Geelani’s request for a visa was, that he has” failed to renounce violence”. This decision was declared a violation of his human rights by his supporters and family.[20]


He has been called the “biggest hurdle” in order to achieve unity among the separatist of Kashmir by the Awami Action Committee, which is headed by Mirwaiz Omar Farooq.[21] Omar Abdullah has blamed Geelani for the rise in militancy and bloodshed in Kashmir, while his father Farooq Abdullah has urged him to follow a path which would “save Kashmiri people from further destruction”.[22][23]

In India Geelani has been criticized by the BJP for raising “anti-national views”. [24] He has faced criticism for saying that non-Muslim Kashmiris should leave the valley, after four individuals raped a Kashmiri girl, two of them being non-Kashmiris.[25]

In Pakistan, Geelani has come under criticism from President Musharraf, for opposing the Srinigar-Muzaffarabad bus service between the two Kashmir’s.[26]

Arrests and detentions

This list is incomplete and you can help by expanding it.
Details of imprisonment and detentions[27]
Date (YYYY/MM/DD) Duration  ↓ Type of detention
1962 August 28 13 months
1965 May 07 22 months
1975 July 05 04 months
1975 December 07 04 months
1980 August 04 months
1984 March 06 10 months
1985 January 28 20 months
1990 April 10 24 months
1993 October 22 12 months
1995 03 months
1999 07 months
2002 June 09 10 months
2009 March 30[28] Still Under house arrest[29] Put under house arrest after being arrested.


  1. ^ “Geelani calls himself”. Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45002809.cms.
  2. ^ “Sidelined”. Kashmir Observer. http://www.kashmirobserver.com/tabloid3.htm.
  3. ^ “A peep into Geelani’s mind”. Kashmir Observer. http://www.kashmirobserver.com/tabloid2.htm.
  4. ^ a b “A peep into Geelani’s mind”. Kashmir Observer. http://www.kashmirobserver.com/tabloid2.htm.
  5. ^ a b c d “Newsline Interview”. http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsNov2004/cover4nov2004.htm.
  6. ^ a b “Geelani Interview”. Rediff.com. http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/may/06inter.htm.
  7. ^ “Geelani gives Centre the cold shoulder”. Economic Times. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/247232.cms.
  8. ^ “Geelani accuses India of changing Kashmir’s demography”. Greater Kashmir. http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?Date=13_5_2007&ItemID=20&cat=21.
  9. ^ “Musharraf dreads India, US”. Hindustan Times. http://www.hindustantimes.in/news/181_1861532,000900010002.htm.
  10. ^ “leave Kashmiris alone”. Calcutta News. http://www.calcuttanews.net/story/232931.
  11. ^ “Kashmir Affairs Interview”. http://www.kashmiraffairs.org/interview_geelani.html.
  12. ^ “Involve Kashmiris in peace process”. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2005/04/18/stories/2005041809830100.htm.
  13. ^ “`Independent Kashmir not feasible'”. Business Line. http://www.hinduonnet.com/businessline/2001/10/30/stories/043085ju.htm.
  14. ^ Zahid, Tasim (02 April 2009). “‘Follow Geelani to attain freedom’: Kashmiri Pandit Leader Sanjay Tickoo” (in English). Greater Kashmir/Kashmir Watch. http://kashmirwatch.com/showheadlines.php?subaction=showfull&id=1238573423&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&var0news=value0news. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.
  15. ^ “Visa”. IndiaDaily.com. http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/16014.asp.
  16. ^ “Ailing Kashmiri separatist”. Gulf Times. http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=136912&version=1&template_id=40&parent_id=22.
  17. ^ “Kidney malignant”. Kashmir Live. http://www.kashmirlive.com/story/Geelanis-only-kidney-malignant-he-wants-treatment-abroad-/24841.html.
  18. ^ “Cancer-hit Geelani awaits”. India News. http://www.indiasnews.net/story/232351.
  19. ^ “Geelani Operated in Mumbai”. Kashmir Observer. http://www.kashmirobserver.com/index.php?id=2134.
  20. ^ “US visa denial is rights violation”. India eNews. http://www.indiaenews.com/india/20070329/45196.htm.
  21. ^ “AAC calls Geelani “biggest hurdle” in separatists unity in JK”. OutLook India. http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=510782.
  22. ^ “Farooq, Omar lash out at Geelani”. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/29/stories/2007042902651000.htm.
  23. ^ “Farooq asks Geelani to adopt a path which can save people”. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200709081922.htm.
  24. ^ “Slap sedition charges on Geelani: BJP”. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/24/stories/2007042405001200.htm.
  25. ^ “Geelani’s Faux Pas”. Meri News. http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=125988.
  26. ^ “Musharraf flays Geelani’s opposition to bus link”. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200504182167.htm.
  27. ^ “Syed Ali Shah Gilani” (in English). Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. http://www.jkth.org/HTML/Sub-Pages/Syed%20Ali%20Gilani.html. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.
  28. ^ “Geelani arrested, released” (in English). Newsline, Kashmir. 31 March 2009. http://www.kashmirnewsline.com/2009/03/31/geelani-arrested-released/. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.
  29. ^ “Arrests over Kashmir boycott call” (in English). BBC. 24 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8016461.stm. Retrieved on 2009-04-24.

2 Responses to “Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Hurritat Conference)”

  1. […] Syed Ali Shah Geelani (Hurritat Conference) « Kashmir PortalFollowing the advice of his doctors at Apollo Hospital, Geelani was set to travel to either the UK or the USA for specialized treatment. However his request for a visa was turned down by the Americans, and as his health deteriorated he … […]

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