Another hardliner takes charge of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat

Syed Ali Shah Geelani quits as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat party chairman but will continue to head Hurriyat

After 17 years, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been replaced by Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai as the interim chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), an important constituent of Geelani-led faction of Hurriyat Conference (G).

Geelani's relationship with his parent party Jamat-e-Islami had hit a low after Hurriyat Conference split in 2002.

Referring to his perpetual house-arrest, Geelani said that he was not able to contribute to the party's activities.

He further said that merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well, so today I willfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise the shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest.




Geelani has been viewed as a key separatist leader in the Valley and has been vocal on advocating Kashmiri separatism. He extended his fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization. Till the next party chief get elected, Ashraf Sehrai will be served as the interim chairman of TeH.

Although Geelani said that he was stepping down because of health problems and his age factor, but sources close to him said that he was under tremendous pressure from various quarters ever since he had begun issuing calls for long-stretched shutdowns in the valley causing financial loss to small traders and those connected with tourism.

Sehrai and (Syed Ali) Geelani's release was part of "goodwill gesture" after Rajiv-Farooq accord paved way for elections. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat knows what to do after my death. Last Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against Kashmiri separatists leader in the alleged terror funding case in a Delhi court.

When JeI J&K made a decision to launch its student wing, Sehraie was chosen to lead Shooba-i-Talaba since 1977.

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