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Geelani paves way for long-time aide Sehrai

Geelani paves way for long-time aide Sehrai

Geelani paves way for long-time aide Sehrai

Syed Ali Shah Geelani today stepped down as the Chairman of the Tehrik-e-Hurriyat.

Octogenarian Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, known for his hardline stance on dialogue process and engagement with New Delhi, on Monday appointed his long-term aide Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai to lead his party Tahreek-e-Hurriyat Kashmir (THK), a constituent of a faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani. Senior Hurriyat leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai replaced him as the party's chairman.

Hurriyat sources said Mr. Geelani "was not keeping well of late due multiple ailments and frequently complains of feeling exhausted and weak".

Geelani had appealed to the people of Kashmir to boycott the 2014 J&K Legislative Assembly completely, not accepting the proposals for self-rule or autonomy that had been offered by the People's Democratic Party and National Conference. He extended his fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization.

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"Sources said Geelani told the members:" I wilfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise Shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest".

However, in 2010, Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) suspended Geelani from the basic membership of the party over the "adverse" remarks made against his parent outfit in a new controversial biography. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat knows what to do after my death.

He has been extremely outspoken about his support of the separatist movements in the Kashmir valley. The separatist leader has also served as the president of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organisation fo separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2016, Sehrai, a resident of Kupwara, had rejected the membership of Geelani's son Naeem, who had returned from Pakistan after many years, while saying that being a "pious Muslim and a pro-freedom activist" are the pre-requisites to be a part of the faction.

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