Syed Ali Shah Geelani, iconic leader of Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination remembered
Memorial reference, titled ‘Syed Ali Shah Geelani: His Struggle & Legacy’, organized by IPS in collaboration with LFK
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
An embodiment of honesty, unwavering resoluteness, struggle, and vision in the story of the Kashmir freedom movement. Such was Syed Ali Shah Geelani, an epitome of Kashmiri’s struggle and resistance, whose passion, ideology, and vision about Kashmir were matchless. He not only presented the cause of Kashmir with great clarity but also united all his people for that one cause i.e., the freedom of Kashmir and the right to Kashmiris’ self-determination, for which he paid a high price.
As put in words by Professor Khurshid Ahmad, veteran politician, eminent scholar, economist, and patron-in-chief and founding chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), who commemorated Syed Ali Shah Geelani, founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, during his memorial reference, titled “Syed Ali Shah Geelani: His Struggle & Legacy”, organized by IPS in collaboration with Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK).
The session was addressed, among others, by veteran statesman Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Professor Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, Vice Chancellor, AJ&K University, Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja, executive director, Centre for International Strategic Studies, Muzaffarabad, Sheikh Abdul Mateen, General Secretary, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Ambassador (retd) Syed Abrar Hussain, IPS’ Vice-Chairman, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq, Chairman, Department of Law, Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST), Advocate Nasir Qadri, Director, LFK, and Farzana Yaqoob, General Secretary, IPS’ Working Group on Kashmir. Brigadier (retd) Dr. Saif Malik, IPS’ senior research fellow moderated the event.
Professor Khurshid Ahmad, while paying tribute to Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s persistence, resolute courage, and resistance in the face of Indian atrocities and its illegal occupation of Kashmir, underscored the vision of Syed Ali Shah Geelani that the central issue, for which he dedicated and sacrificed his life, is the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and a free plebiscite, without which the Kashmir dispute cannot be solved.
He further pointed out how Pakistani leadership, of past and present, has neglected their responsibility for the mission of this leader, whose only slogan was “We are Pakistani and Pakistan is ours” which still echoes in the hearts of Kashmiris and those fighting for the cause.
He emphasized that the freedom of Kashmir is an unsettled agenda of Pakistan’s independence and the pursuance of which demands a clear vision of narratives and ideology on part of Pakistan. This unity and clear vision have become a compelling need owing to increased Indian brutalities and war crimes in IIOJK.
In this regard, Professor Khurshid Ahmad voiced his standpoint that Pakistan must defend the stance of Kashmiris and freedom fighters, who are being internationally accused of inciting violence and using force; while, according to the United Nations Charter, the use of force is permitted for the right to self-determination without being labeled as terrorism and violence.
Lastly, it is the duty of Pakistan and its public to fight for Kashmir at the international level with a consistent and targeted approach and take the mission of Syed Ali Shah Geelani to a logical conclusion for which Kashmiris have been fighting for so long, he stated.
Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq also expressed his disappointment over the indecisive and non-serious role of Pakistan, particularly after August revocation of Article 360; while, a stronger opposition was emerged from within India by various political parties and leaders. However, at the same time, several opportunities often come on the international arena, where Pakistan should proactively defend the cause of Kashmir.
Chairman IPS Khalid Rahman, in his concluding remarks, pointed out bad governance to be the root cause of many things that are wrong with the world. In such an environment, struggle for justice is not easy, which Geelani understood in all its aspects. He further underscored that war between India and Pakistan is a genuine threat due to this lingering Kashmir issue. As for its resolution, the ideal solution is to settle the matter according the UN resolutions.