Srinagar: For the first time since its inception in the year 2004, the pro-freedom organization, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Monday witnessed a change in guard after the senior Hurriyat leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai replaced Syed Ali Geelani as the party’s interim chairman.
Sehrai considered as the second strong leader was elected TeH Chairman today in an executive meet of the organisation held at Geelani’s Hyderpora residence-cum-office.
Sehrai, who is an old-time friend and associate of Geelani, was earlier serving the organization as General Secretary.
Notably, since TeH’s formation in 2004, Geelani continued to win elections over the years and served the organization as its Chairman.
Sources informed ‘Kashmir Vision’ that Geelani and Sehrai were among the founding members of TeH after Geelani left Jama’at-e-Islami.
They said that Sehrai who was also the member of Jama’at played a pivotal role in formation of this pro-freedom organization.
‘Kashmir Vision’ has learnt from sources that Geelani had earlier decided to announce Sehrai as his successor.
However, the announcement didn’t take place as the members raised questions over Geelani’s proposed step.
Hurriyat leaders informed that Geelani has elected Sehrai as TeH chief while he will continue to head the Hurriyat Conference (G).
They said that the elections to elect the TeH Chairman will be held later this year till then Sehrai will continue as the organization’s Chairman.
Later, the statement issued here read that Geelani willfully stepped down from the chairmanship, saying that holding a position without any practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well.
Geelani according to the statement in a meeting held today said neither the mission of TeH is alien nor is the path chosen to achieve it unique.
“Everywhere and anywhere suppressed and oppressed nations struggle and strive to get rid of forceful occupation. We all have chosen this rough and torturous path willfully and wishfully and every testing endures make our resolve hard and strong,” he said.
He further said that “by the grace of Allah Almighty and your timely cooperation, I have stood my stand despite testing times of jails, Interrogations, domestic hardships, physical and psychological onslaught, but for the last 8 years of continuous house arrest, restrictions on the interactions with my party colleagues has dented the function of the organization.”
Geelani further said that merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well, so today “I willfully step-down from the chairmanship and advice the Shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest.”
He extended his fullest cooperation and sincere wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization.
The Shoora following the Geelani’s announcement unanimously decided to appoint Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai as interim chairman till the party elections to be held later in the year.