21 March, 2018
Ending speculations, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani stepped down as chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) and appointed long-time associate and pro-Pakistan leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai as his successor. He has rarely been allowed to move out of his house in uptowan Hyderpora locality that remains under round-the-clock security vigil.
TeH, virtually a breakaway wing of the duo's parent organization Jamaat-e-Islamic, is the dominant constituent of the Hurriyat Conference faction led by octogenarian leader (Geelani). He has already undergone surgeries for heart and kidney ailments in the past.
The spokesman lamented that the state authorities has gagged political activities and THK workers have specially been targeted. "We all have chosen this rough and torturous path willfully and wishfully and every testing endeavour makes our resolve hard and strong", he was quoted as saying.
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Israeli army strikes Hamas targets following border explosives
Palestinian media reported that the targets were Hamas observation sites near Gaza City and Beit Hanoun, in the northern Strip. The area of the attack is a frequent protest ground for Gazan residents.
He added that merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well.
"So, I wilfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise the "shoora" (council) to arrange an alternative at the earliest", the hardliner said. The decision has ended the strain in the Hurriyat on who will lead the flock after Geelani, whose deteriorating health has been a cause of concern.
Apart from senior Hurriyat leaders Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan, Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Dar alias Bitta Karate, Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Peer Saifullah and Ayaz Akbar, Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah is presently under NIA detention while his sons Naeem Geelani and Naseem Geelani were summoned by the agency many times in the past.