File photo of Syed Ali Shah Geelani
NEW DELHI: The exit of the ailing, 90-year-old separatist hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani from the Hurriyat Conference completes his sidelining by those very Pakistan-based masters who used him for the past several years to stoke the fires of militancy and violence in Jammu & Kashmir.
Sources in the security establishment said Geelani’s dissociation with the Hurriyat reeked of Pakistan’s and particularly ISI’s “use and throw” policy, given that the politician who could mobilise endless hartals and violent protests in his heyday was now left to fend for himself after he riled them with his attempts to assert his supremacy through his chosen representative for the Hurriyat’s PoK chapter, Abdullah Gilani, and prop up his sons as heirs to his legacy.
The rumblings within the Hurriyat Conference led by Shah Geelani have been going on for the past 4-6 months. Geelani, a source said, realised that time was not on his side and was keen to push his sons in the succession battle. In fact, he ensured that Abdullah Gilani, his trusted aide and a good friend of his son Nayeem Geelani, was appointed as convenor of the Hurriyat chapter in PoK.
An IPS officer said this was with an eye on creating acceptance for his son, purportedly Nayeem, as the heir to his legacy. However, Pakistan-based agencies were not happy with the plan and are believed to have tied up with other Hurriyat functionaries in Kashmir as well as PoK to first sideline and then oust Abdullah Gilani recently by replacing him with their “own man” Hussain Mohammad Khateeb.