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In absentia funeral prayers offered for Geelani in Islamabad

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The funeral prayers of veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani were offered in absentia at Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque on Friday.

President Dr Arif Alvi, federal ministers, parliamentarians and a large number of people from different walks of life offered the prayers.

National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry and other government officials also attended the prayers.

Geelani, an icon of the Kashmir freedom movement, passed away on Wednesday night at his home in Srinagar, in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), at the age of 92.

He was laid to rest in Srinagar on Thursday amidst heavy deployment of Indian occupation force, that had earlier taken away the body from the family.

A day earlier, funerals in absentia were held for the Kashmiri leader in other parts of the country after the news of his demise emerged.

Read FO condemns Indian forces for taking Geelani’s body in custody forcibly

Pakistan had announced to fly its national flag at half mast at the Sindh Governor House and the Chief Minister’s House to mark a ‘day of mourning’ on the Hurriyat leader’s passing away.

Separate condolence messages were issued from the Chief Minister House and the Governor House, while statements paying tribute to the veteran leader poured in from political circles.

In his message, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said Geelani was a symbol of struggle and resilience who remained under house arrest for the last 12 years.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail noted that Geelani had fought for the Kashmiri people and their right to self-determination. The Pakistani nation pays tribute to his fearless struggle for unwavering commitment to the Kashmir cause, he said.

Geelani was an uncompromising campaigner against Indian rule in the region divided between India and Pakistan since 1947.

He was a staunch opponent of the Indian illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and led Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination. The veteran politician was jailed for nearly 10 years after 1962 and often restricted to his home after that.

Previously, he was a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir but later on founded his own party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

He served as the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a forum of freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir. He served as a member of the Kashmir Assembly from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir three times (1972, 1977 and 1987).

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