‘Hum Pakistani Hain Aur Pakistan Humara Hai’ | Inside Syed Ali Geelani’s Glorious Freedom Struggle

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Syed Ali Geelani

The Top Kashmiri pro-freedom leader, Syed Ali Geelani, died at the age of 91 on Wednesday night.

Geelani was suffering from multiple ailments, and since 2010 he was detained in his house for the greater part of his life.

The veteran Kashmiri leader started his political career as a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami and later joined the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

Expressing sadness over Geelani’s passing, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Gillani struggled all his life for Kashmiris and their right to self-determination.

The PM Tweeted, “Syed Ali Geelani suffered confinement and torture by the occupying Indian state but remained resolute. We’ll observe a day of official mourning.”

“We in Pakistan salute his courageous struggle and remember his words: ‘Hum Pakistani hain aur Pakistan Humara hai’ (We are Pakistanis and Pakistan belongs to us).”

Early life and Political Career

On the 29th of September 1929, Syed Ali Geelani was born in Kashmir’s Baramulla district. After early education in his hometown, he traveled to Lahore for higher studies.

Gillani returned to Srinagar after finishing his degree in Islamic theology in the 1940s. He later met religious scholar Maulana Sayeed Masoodi, then secretary-general of the pro-India National Conference party, who asked him to join an Urdu-language newspaper as a reporter.

In 1949, while teaching at a public school, he encountered Maulana Saad-Uddin, the first chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir.

The JeI had laid its foundation independent of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (India) in Indian occupied Kashmir in 1946.

He worked in Srinagar for several years and closely came to know the JeI through its literature and sessions. In 1952, he was sworn in as a primary member of the socio-religious party.

In 1959, he resigned from his government job to devote himself full time to the party’s activities and soon rose to become the district chief of Kupwara and Baramulla.  

Geelani became the party’s secretary-general in 1964, given his commitment and devotion to the “Islamic cause.”

He won a seat in the provincial assembly from his home constituency in Sopore in 1972. He walked out on the first day of the session for not being allowed to speak in Urdu, the state’s official language. Geelani also won the 1977 elections.

In the year 1992, the foundation of the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference was laid. It was a platform of at least 30 pro-freedom parties. The initiative was taken to pursue Kashmir’s fight for self-determination. Geelani represented the JeI.

Moreover, Geelani, and his lifetime associate Ashraf Sehrai, launched the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (Movement of Freedom) in 2004. The party’s Constitution intends to achieve three things: “Islam is a way of life, freedom from India and Muslim Unity.”

Geelani authored more than 25 books, including his autobiography Wular Kinaray and commentary in Urdu on the Persian poetry of Allama Iqbal.

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