Pakistani diaspora and their allies on Friday commemorated the first martyrdom anniversary of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani in the United Kingdom and across Europe.
Protest demonstrations were held in Birmingham, urging the British government to force India to return the body of martyred Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani as he wished to be buried in Srinagar's Martyrs Graveyard. The protesters also called for freedom of IIOJK.#etribune pic.twitter.com/GXKFfALXNk
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People in Birmingham, Glasgow, Luton, Oldham, Nelson and other cities came out in droves to pay tributes to Geelani, the life-time chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), who attained martyrdom on September 1, 2021 while he was under illegal house arrest at his Hyderpora residence in uptown Srinagar, the capital of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
He was forcibly buried in a local graveyard against the wishes of the Kashmiri nation.
The demonstrators urged the British government to force India to return body of Shaheed Geelani so that it will be buried as per the will and wish of the Kashmiri people. Geelani had wished to be buried in Martyrs Graveyard Srinagar.
Fahim Kayani, president of the Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, on whose invitation events to mark ‘Youm-e-Baba-e-Hurriyat’ were held in the United Kingdom, said oppressed people of IIOJK “have no luxury to forget services of their leaders”.
“Remembrance is resistance,” Kayani told an anti-India demonstration in Birmingham, adding, "Shaheed Geelani relentlessly fought fascist Indian military regime in IIOJK."
“Shaheed Geelani Saheb showed us a way that nothing can replace the sacred freedom from an illegal occupation,” Kayani said, urging steadfastness in fight against Indian occupation forces in IIOJK.
Kayani said the legend of Shaheed Geelani is a beacon light for younger Kashmiri generations to come.
“Shaheed Geelani Saheb unmasked so-called democratic India as a neo-colonial power which is being supported by the imperial west,” he said.
“This contribution of Shaheed Geelani Sahab is a matter of significance for modern day anti-imperial studies and struggles,” he said. “Fascist India is an imperial and a colonial power in Asia; it must be dealt with as such and all those who believe in anti-colonial and anti-imperial struggles must come together to fight India and hold it accountable for its war crimes in IIOJK”
Kayani also thanked the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Prime Minister Sardar Tanvir Ilyas Khan for holding state-level programmes to commemorate ‘Youm-e-Baba-e-Hurriyat’.
Kayani reiterated the demand of Kashmiri diaspora that Sept 01 – day of martyrdom of Shaheed Geelani – be declared as ‘Youm-e-Baba-i-Hurriyat’ by the government of Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Muhammad Ghalib President Tehreek-e-Kashmir Europe said “Shaheed Geelani loved people of AJK because Azad Kashmir people fought fascist Dogra regime, which was helped by then Indian forces, to liberate their homeland which is free where people live their life of honour and dignity,”
Khawajah Muhammad Suleman, Director of the KIIR Centre of Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK, said, “The scholarship produced by Shaheed Syed Ali Geelani bears testimony that he was one among few Muslim leaders whose vision for an Islamic welfare state for the Muslims of the region will be studied for generations to come”.
Stuart Richardson, Secretarty General of Stop the War Coalition Birmingham branch, also condemned the forced burial of Shaheed Syed Ali Geelani by the Indian government under the barrel of gun.