PM Imran calls out India's 'descent into fascism' for filing cases against Syed Ali Geelani's family

Published September 5, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan pays tribute to Syed Ali Geelani, and calls him "one of the most respected and principled Kashmiri leaders". — Photo courtesy Imran Khan Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan pays tribute to Syed Ali Geelani, and calls him "one of the most respected and principled Kashmiri leaders". — Photo courtesy Imran Khan Instagram

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday slammed India for "snatching" the body of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani — who passed away on Wednesday — and registering cases against his family, calling it another example of New Delhi's "descent into fascism".

Geelani was buried in a tightly controlled pre-dawn ceremony on Thursday morning after Indian authorities allegedly snatched his body from his family and disallowed his burial to be held in accordance with his will.

"Snatching the body of the 92-year-old Syed Ali Geelani, one of the most respected and principled Kashmiri leaders and then registering cases against his family is just another shameful example of India’s descent into fascism under the Nazi-inspired RSS-BJP (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party) government," the prime minister said.

Indian officials said on Sunday that police in Indian-occupied Kashmir had charged Geelani's family members under a harsh anti-terror law for raising anti-India slogans and wrapping his body in the Pakistani flag.

Police said unspecified family members and some others were charged on Saturday under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They have not yet been taken into custody.

The anti-terror law was amended in 2019 to allow the Indian government to designate an individual as a terrorist. Police can detain a person for six months without producing any evidence, and the accused can subsequently be imprisoned for up to seven years. Rights activists have called the law draconian.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condemned the arrests and said the "fascist Indian state" should be ashamed.

Meanwhile, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that even in death, Geelani's power frightened the "fascist [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi regime" which was now taking revenge against his family.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said, "Syed Ali Gilani in his life kept the candle of the freedom movement bright against the extremist government of India.

"Even after his death, the Indian government fears the moral force of his message. His family was not allowed to bury him and a case was filed against his family members."

Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, while talking to the media in Lahore, said that Modi was so frightened that "he couldn't hand over a dead body to the family".

He said that the Indian prime minister was "such a coward" that he could not bear an expression of freedom.

"The prime minister has strictly condemned this today. Pakistan's government and people strictly condemn it and want to tell the Kashmiri people that we are standing as a wall behind you," the information minister said.

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