Geelani steps down, Sehraie steps up

Geelani steps down, Sehraie steps up

Geelani steps down, Sehraie steps up

Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai was on Monday elected as the new chairman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, replacing Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani today gave up post of the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

Geelani's relationship with his parent party Jamat-e-Islami had hit a low after Hurriyat Conference split in 2002. "The decision was taken after Geelani chose to step down", they said.

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"So, I wilfully step-down from the chairmanship and advise the "shoora" (council) to arrange an alternative at the earliest", the hardliner said.

Geelani has been viewed as a key separatist leader in the Valley and has been vocal on advocating Kashmiri separatism. He nominated his close aide 74-year-old Mohd Ashraf Sehrai as his successor.

A spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat said Sehrai has been appointed as interim chairman of the party till organisational elections were held later this year. "I extend my fullest cooperation and honest wishes to the would-be leadership of the organization", Geelani, as per the TeH statement said.

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Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Fantoosh was said to be the one in charge of party operations to a good extent.

Geelani was also under great pressure of Pakistan and the new generation of local terrorists who have started raising fingers at him by accusing him of selling dreams to the youth.

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

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While Hurriyat insiders stated that Geelani resigned citing health concerns, sources said that the ailing separatist was under tremendous pressure after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) tightened the noose around his family members. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat knows what to do after my death. He has held various positions in JeI including that of Secretary General.

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