Kashmir: Geelani resigns as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat

Geelani with Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai at his residence

The decision to appoint Sehrai (73) as interim chairman was taken unanimously in an extraordinary meeting of Majlis-e-Shoora (Central Working Committee) held in Srinagar on Monday.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani resigned on 19th March as Tehreek-e-Hurriyat's chairman.

Sources said Mr. Geelani "was under pressure from his cadre and party leaders for the past two years to announce a successor for the influential separatists' grouping to avoid any confusion in case of any eventuality".

Sehrai and Geelani, both strong votaries of implementation of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir, have been close associates for nearly six decades, first in the Jamiat-e-Islami J&K and later in the TeH. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat is a separatist organisation of Jammu and Kashmir founded on August 7, 2014. He extended his fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization. "So today, I willfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise Shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest", said Geelani, while addressing the meeting.

Sehraie, who was until now the general secretary of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, was tipped to be the first choice to replace Geelani.

As per reports, Sehraie, a few months ago, had written to Geelani expressing his displeasure about some developments within the faction.

Observers say that Geelani's departure from active politics would have far-reaching impact on the politics of Kashmir. Geelani is not keeping well for the past several years. The separatist leader has also served as the president of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organisation fo separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

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