SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani a firm pro-Pak hawk on Kashmir was carefully cultivated as an alternative powerful leader of Kashmir by Islamabad that could act as a linchpin when a final decision is taken over Kashmir settlement in India in its favor. Geelani when alive had a grip over some sections of the areas and people who always have shown pro-Pakistan tendency and rather shamefully were also cultivated by some mainstream politicians in New Delhi who tried to legitimate him as a powerful voice in Kashmir. Pakistan could often portray Hurriyat and Geelani as legitimate stakeholders at the negotiation table and often consult with them before each meeting it held with India on Kashmir.
In the Past, Indian Government Peaceniks, Interlocutors, and Spymasters could often be seen meeting with the pro-Pak hawk Geelani thus in some way legitimating his grip on power even though he had no power. For some time even in Indian media and the bureaucratic circle, there was an impression that without getting blessings from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference lead by Geelani it was impossible to achieve peace in the region or any good outcome from any peace talks with Pakistan.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference until a few years ago could finance stone pelters and carried out other anti-India activities including sending Kashmiri youths to Pakistan on their recommendation for scholarship and was a loyal and faithful henchman of the Pakistani establishment until the Indian government pulled the rug out and abolished Article 370 and Article 35A and send India’s counter-terrorism task force National Investigation Agency to block the flow of funds and narco-terrorism that was cultivated over 30 years by Pakistan to make the whole region depended on the conflict economy that was funding its growth.
Since 2019, Pakistan failed to bring some relief to their favorite and faithful henchman in the valley as NIA kept the pressure on the party and its workers. All Parties Hurriyat Conference fall was inevitable as more and more legal remedies were applied to cut them into the piece. Geelani was heartbroken by the poor response from Pakistan and often could curse Pakistani politicians and military officers for abandoning him and his party. In 2020 to cheer him up, Pakistan made it a point to bestow up him Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan’s highest civil award on Geelani to recognize his years of service to Pakistan but the collapse of the power status of Geelani had already begun.
When the Indian government called upon Jammu and Kashmir-based mainstream politicians to come to New Delhi for talks after two years, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference was not only ignored but was also made a non-entity that irked Pakistan the most as can be seen by their statement next day by their foreign office. All Parties Hurriyat Conference after Geelani will further fall into oblivion if the government goes ahead and bans it under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act imposed on both factions of the Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir.
After his death, Pakistan was again outsmarted by India when it forced his family to quietly bury him without much fanfare which Pakistan could have liked, nor India allowed the situation to go violent thus ending the last journey of Pakistani establishments favorite and faithful henchman in the valley.
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