Pakistan condemns Indian activities as Syed Ali Geelani denied ‘appropriate’ funeral

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Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, who gave up the ghost on Wednesday, was buried during a tightly controlled pre-dawn ceremony on Thursday morning as Indian authorities imposed a lockdown across Indian-occupied Kashmir — actions condemned by Pakistan.

Thousands of police personnel were deployed soon after to undertake and stop unrest within the region.

Geelani was buried at a cemetery near his range in the most city of Srinagar, a police source told AFP. Only alittle number of his relatives were present, including two of his sons, the source added.

Geelani, the foremost outspoken critic of India who spent several years in jail or under confinement , had wanted to be buried at the Martyrs Cemetery in Srinagar. But authorities rejected that request, the police source said.

“We basically took control of the arrangements,” the official said.

Residents said authorities acted out of fear of mass mourning turning into unrest. “Troops are everywhere, there are wire blockades on every highway ,” said one.

After the death became known, announcements were made up of loudspeakers of the most mosque near Geelani’s residence asking people to march towards the house.

But police said nobody within the valley would be allowed to go away their homes.

‘True voice of Kashmiris’
The ministry (FO) paid tribute to Geelani, calling him a “true voice and hero of the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination”.

In a statement issued early Thursday, FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that the govt and therefore the people of Pakistan deeply mourned “the death of the long-lasting leader of the Kashmiri resistance”.

The nation pays rich tribute to his life-long struggle for justice and freedom, he said.

“[Geelani] inspired three generations of Kashmiris in resisting illegal Indian occupation and unabated tyranny. He was a real voice and hero of the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination, who never lost his ideological moorings for one moment,” the FO spokesperson said.

“May he still be an idea for those carrying his mission forward to bring an end to the illegal Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the primary to pay tribute to Geelani, tweeting that he was “deeply saddened” at the death of the “Kashmiri freedom fighter” who had been under confinement for many of the past 11 years.

Geelani had been ill for several months with heart and kidney problems.

The premier 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,” he said.

He declared each day of national mourning in Pakistan.

On Thursday, secretary of state Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed grief on the demise of the late Kashmiri leader, saying that Geelani would always be remembered.

Addressing a session organised by think factory Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Qureshi said, “Every Pakistani, every Kashmiri, every insurgent , all those elements who have stood up for basic fundamental human rights will recognise what he (Geelani) stood for.”

He added that he was saddened by how the Indian forces had encircled Geelani’s house after his death and treated his family.

“They forced the family to bury him without a correct funeral,” he lamented. “Everybody knows that there would are an enormous , huge namaz-i-janaza (funeral) for him, and therefore the Indian forces were too scared to even allow that.”

Qureshi said the way Indian forces had trampled on the elemental right of organising a correct funeral for Geelani saddened him.

He prayed which will Allah bless Geelani’s soul with the very best place in Jannah.

“His (Geelani’s) eminence, his character and his tenacity may be a tale in itself and a source of guidance, and he has set some guiding principles for Kashmiris who are leading this struggle,” Qureshi said, and expressed hope that the youth in Kashmir would carry over Geelani’s mission.

FO condemns ‘snatching’ of Geelani’s remains
The FO spokesperson also strongly condemned the “barbaric act of snatching [Geelani’s] mortal remains” by Indian occupation forces.

“As the family was preparing for the last rites, an important contingent of occupation forces raided his residence in Srinagar, harassed relations and snatched Geelani’s body.

“When the relations told the raiding party that Geelani’s will was to be buried within the Cemetery of Martyrs in Srinagar, they were reportedly told that India wouldn’t allow Geelani’s burial at the place of his choosing,” the FO spokesperson said.

The Indian government is so scared of Geelani and what he stood for that they need now resorted to the present inhuman act even after his passing, he said.

“This shows the degree of callousness on a part of the occupation forces and demonstrates definitely that India would trample all civil and human values in perpetuating its occupation of Kashmir,” he said,

He noted that a curfew had been imposed within the occupied valley and internet services had been “snapped”.

“The international community must take serious note of this unprecedented and egregious situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and hold India to account for its breaches of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the FO spokesperson said.

Separatist thorn
Geelani had been a thorn in India’s side since the first 1960s when he began campaigning for the territory’s merger with Pakistan.

He also pursued his separatist calls as a member of the Kashmir assembly.

The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and was often restricted to his home then .

Since his youth, Geelani had been a member of Jamaat-i-Islami, the most important political-religious organisation in occupied Kashmir that was banned by India’s Hindu nationalist government in 2019.

He rejected any notion of direct talks with the New Delhi government unless it formally “accepts Kashmir as a disputed territory” and stopped describing the region as an “integral a part of India”.

Indian governments of all political colours have insisted on sovereignty over occupied Kashmir.

Geelani was also a staunch critic of the sporadic but failed attempts at dialogue between India and Pakistan. His hardline stance also had critics in occupied Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister of occupied Kashmir, said on Twitter: “We might not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness and standing by his beliefs.”

Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is one among the world’s most militarised zones, with 500,000 Indian security forces deployed within the region.

Tens of thousands, mainly civilians, have died since an insurgency erupted in 1989.

India has been struggling to bring normal life back to Kashmir after it cancelled the region’s semi-autonomous status and divided it into two centrally controlled territories in August 2019.

A security clampdown imposed at the time saw mobile internet services cut for quite a year. many political leaders were detained and lots of are still not free.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed the move was intended to bring peace and prosperity to occupied Kashmir.

Separatist leaders said it had been to punish the Muslim population.

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