Srinagar: Urging people to stay firmly on the path of resistance, octogenarian Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani on Friday offered congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid Hyderpora after being freed from eight years of house arrest.
Accompanied by senior members of the Hurriyat, including his longtime aide and new Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairperson, Muhammad Ashraf Sehraie, Geelani left his residence at 1:15pm and was taken to the nearby Jamia Masjid in a vehicle.
He was welcomed by scores of youth who raised pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.
Addressing the people, he said: “I am talking to you after eight long years… It has been a long time… I want to tell you that our struggle is based on facts. We don’t want to snatch any part of India. We want India to fulfill its promise that it made to the people of Kashmir at the world’s highest forum, the United Nations.”
He reminded the people of the endless sacrifices made in the past seven decades to end India’s autocratic rule over Kashmir. He said that India had promised that the landing of its army in Kashmir was temporary will be withdrawn, and the people allowed to exercise the Right to Self-Determination.
“We want to remind Indian authorities that we are not demanding any part of India. Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory that needs resolution in accordance with the resolutions passed by UN in January 1948,” he said, adding, “India and Pakistan are signatory to the resolutions while the member states of the UN are witness to it.”
He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are yearning for peace and want peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. “The peaceful resolution lies in allowing the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their Right to Self-Determination,” he said.
Geelani lashed out at the Indian state saying it was suffering from the arrogance of power and using imperialistic force in the “disputed territory” of J&K.
Quoting verses from the Holy Quran, Geelani asked people to repose faith in Almighty Allah and seek refuge in him. He said doing so will infuse spirit and will power to withstand the “brutalities and hardships” the people face while pursuing the “pious and sacred mission of martyrs”.
Hailing the youth for their passion, commitment and enthusiasm towards freedom, Geelani said that people need to exhibit utmost steadfastness and stand united. “It is the secret of our victory against the oppressors, who are hell-bent on creating confusion by hatching conspiracies,” he said.
He urged the youth to follow the teachings of Quran and Sunnah.
Reacting to media reports that quoted Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid as saying that “Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik are Azad (free)”, Geelani said that, “We have decided to hold a meeting on the statement (of the DGP) and then we will react to it.”
Although Geelani was allowed to move out of his residence and offer congregational prayers, the police deployment outside his residence is still intact. A police officer deployed at his residence said that they have been directed not to leave the place. “Today morning we were directed to not stop Geelani from moving out, but we were told to not leave this place,” he said.