Most senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani today threw a surprise by announcing his resignation from his faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference. In a statement issued to media, Geelani said that he has taken the decision ‘in view of the present condition’ of the amalgam which, he said, he has explained in his letter to them. The move has stirred a fresh debate around the separatist leadership with many unable to comprehend what actually happened given the many divisions in the separatist leadership.
Geelani has resigned from the faction of the APHC which he was heading as Chairman. According to his official political representative, Syed Abdullah Gilani, whom he has named in his letter as well, Geelani ‘continues to be the Patron and Founder of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat with Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai continuning to be its Chairman’.
Below is the translation of his letter.
Respected members, All Parties Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakaatuh
May Almighty Allah keep you all safe, including your family and friends. Aameen!
We all believe that we have to appear before Allah for all our deeds and the same sense of responsibility must be the basis of our every word and action. Our movement is very valuable; it includes the selfless service of sincere workers, the spirit of sacrifice of people and the sacred blood of the martyrs. We call for the fidelity to this precious asset of the nation. Loyalty and sincerity to this trust is the guarantee of success and prosperity for us. And, God forbid, betraying and disregarding will be a cause of humiliation and disgrace for us in this world and in the hereafter.
Respected gentlemen! As you all know, the Azad Kashmir branch of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference is just a representative forum. It is not authorized to take any individual or collective decision. For a long time in general and for the last 2 years in particular, a lot of complaints are coming in about this forum. Accessing assemblies and ministries through own families and then actively participating in the governmental structure there, lining up against each other internally, quarrels, financial irregularities and countless such issues have been the subject of public debate. Recently, on the basis of investigations, some of those involved were fired. And investigations into the remaining gentlemen were also underway, but your representatives there, considering this process of investigation as an insult, started calling separate meetings after which orders were issued to dissolve the organizational structure there until further orders. To evade this process of transparency and accountability in the forum, your representatives initiated non-cooperation with the Convener and formally launched a propaganda campaign in which a vicious attempt was made to lose my statements and messages to the nation in a maze of doubts. Even a commission of inquiry was set up on my will regarding my final journey by which their intentions came to light. Not just that, but they, disregarding all moral, constitutional and organizational rules, formed a parallel structure by holding a self-styled Shura (consultation). Instead of reprimanding their representatives for these heinous acts of immorality, indiscipline and non-cooperation, you convened a consultative meeting in Srinagar on your own to ratify this unconstitutional decision. And by attributing this meeting to my instructions, you too have committed a heinous conspiracy and resorted to a blatant lie, because I had not issued any such directive.
Dear gentlemen! Last year, an occupying India merged the occupied state into its federation and made a self-proclaimed announcement to divide the state into two parts so that the bloody story of Palestine can be repeated here. To implement this ugly conspiracy, while holding hostage the whole nation, almost all young and old leaders, activists, lawyers and students were arrested along with thousands of people and taken to prisons outside the state. During that, leadership outside the prisons was expected to take a positional role of guiding this subjugated nation by fighting this naked aggression and encouraging the people despite government restrictions and punishment. Despite historical restrictions and being in detention, I searched for you gentlemen, constantly trying to contact you through messages, but no effort has been successful and you could not be availed despite much search. While presenting a strategy for the future and representing the nation in these circumstances, neither my health nor a decade of detention came in my way. Today, when the sword of accountability hangs over your heads, the heat of accountability began to be felt, the veil of financial irregularities began to slip and there was a fear of losing one’s position, you gathered to hold a so-called consultative meeting, despite the epidemic and government restrictions, and set a unique example of solidarity and unity by supporting and endorsing the unconstitutional decisions of your representatives, and by promoting this drama through you favourite broadcasters, you too involved in this ‘uncouth sin’.
Respected gentlemen! In 2003, you forced me to take over the leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir and then to lead it for life. The performance and irregularities of this forum were often overlooked in the name of ‘larger interest of the movement’. Due to governmental torment and reproach, continuous arrests, economic woes and personal weaknesses, a strict and expected system of accountability has not been established but, today, you have not only violated all the rules and regulations and resorted to indiscipline, but rebelled against the leadership openly and brazenly.
In view of the current situation and after pondering over the whole situation, I announce complete parting away from All Parties Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir. I can’t bear the responsibility for my weaknesses and shortcomings as well as the performance of my colleagues in this forum. All of you gentlemen are free to decide for yourself. Old age, physical weakness and various ailments do not mean the weakening of my soul. Neither the power of my heart and mind has ceased nor has there been any weakness in my spirit of freedom. Until my passing from this mortal world, I will continue to fight against Indian colonialism and will continue to fulfil my right to guide my people as much as I can.
Mr. Syed Abdullah Gilani will continue to represent me in Azad Kashmir and abroad. Insha’Allah
I am grateful to you for helping me in making an important decision in the last days of my life by virtue of your conduct. In case I have made a mistake during our companionship, or some of my words and deeds have offended any of you or your emotions have been hurt, I apologize to you. May Allah help and support us all.
Syed Ali Geelani