SRINAGAR: Syed Ali Geelani was elected lifetime chairman of Hurriyat (G) at a meeting of its Majlis-e-Shoora last year, the highest decision making body of the resistance grouping comprising about two dozen parties.
The veteran leader’s health deteriorated in March this year to the extent that who-will-succeed-him talk gained momentum both among the masses and the Hurriyat (G) constituents. After treatment in New Delhi, he returned to the Valley on April 6.
Recently, Kashmir Reader spoke to Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar on the issue of succession.
“May Allah give Geelani Sahib a long life. However if the inevitable happens, the Shoora will decide on his successor,” he said.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, which is Geelani’s own party, would not face a problem in picking the party head. Its 1000 permanent members, whose votes are sought while making all decisions, Akbar added, would pick Ashraf Sehrai, the general secretary, for his contributions towards the freedom struggle.
The Shoora will decide on the Hurriyat (G) successor. “But if you ask my personal opinion, Sehrai Sahab would be the choice of the youth whose guiding principle for the struggle is Islam,” Akbar said.
“But this is my personal opinion based on our own assessment. Moreover, it is the Shoora which will take the final decision,” he said.
Geelani, 86, suffers from multiple ailments. He has been the executive member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) since its formation in 1993. The pro-Pakistan leader formed his own Hurriyat Conference in 2003 after one of the constituents fielded proxy candidates in 2002 assembly elections in Kupwara district.
Since then, Hurriyat Conference (G) is gaining popularity with more and more parties joining the amalgam. Last year, about eight parties from the faction led by Mirwaiz joined Geelani group, among those resistance veterans Shabir Ahmad Shah (Democratic Freedom Party), Nayeem Ahmad Khan (National Front) and Agha Hassan Al Mosvi Al Saafvi (Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian).