Geelani and Nishan-e-Pakistan

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Pak plays another trick on nonagenarian Kashmiri politician

By: Shafqat Shafi

Hurriyat Leaders receiving Nishan-e-Pakistan Award on behalf of Syed Ali Shah Gilani from President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Pakistan, on its independence day, conferred country’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan on nonagenarian Kashmiri politician, Syed Ali Geelani. Geelani deserved it. He had all along been Pakistan’s man here in Kashmir. Despite being a member of J&K’s legislative assembly for three terms, he always did Pakistan’s bidding. He was instrumental in strengthening Pakistan’s ‘thousand cut’ scheme and lured and encouraged Kashmiri youth to fight Pakistan’s war and die for Pakistan. So he very well deserved it.

In June this year, Geelani resigned from All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which he had carved out from a similarly named ‘parent’ grouping in 2003. In his resignation letter, he accused the representatives of his APHC, based in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir (PaK), of nepotism and corruption and regretted that members based in Kashmir Valley too have sided with those elements. He completely disowned these representatives saying Abdullah Geelani will be his only representative in PaK.

Here is an interesting twist in the story. The award, on behalf of Syed Ali Geelani was received by G M Safi of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and Farooq Rehmani of Peoples’ League. Both are from this part of Kashmir and are constituent members of APHC from which Geelani has resigned. Others too, whom Geelani had accused of ‘wrong doings’ in his resignation letter, were present on the occasion. So what is the moral of the story? On one hand Pakistan awards Geelani and on the other hand recognizes those people as ‘leaders of the movement’ whom Geelani had accused of letting down the ‘movement’ for their ‘personal ambitions.’

It is interesting to note that Pakistan decided to confer the award on Geelani only after he resigned from his APHC. Has this award conferring more to it that meets the eye? To understand Pakistan’s game plan, one needs not to be a rocket scientist. It is very simple. Pakistan establishment had decided to play a double game.

On one hand, it created circumstances, by luring Geelani’s close associates here as well as in Muzaffarabad, to push Geelani to the wall. While on the other hand, it couldn’t afford to alienate Geelani’s supporters. It wanted to dump the old man but at the same time keep the façade of being still in love with him. By awarding Geelani, the Pakistan establishment conveyed to his supporters that he still was its darling and at the same time, by recognizing those, whom Geelani accused of ‘financial irregularities’, as representatives of the ‘movement’, the establishment conveyed to Geelani’s person that in reality he has been dropped like hot potato.

Geelani’s followers may be storming the social networking sites by celebrating the conferring of award on him, need is to understand the whole game plan. Geelani has been outsmarted by those whom he accused of ‘harming the movement’ and this goes without saying that they, in doing so, had full backing of Pakistan establishment. I may be forgiven for my crude language, but the way Pakistan played this ‘award drama’ looks like handing over the award to a rapist on behalf of the rape victim!

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