Geelani passes on the baton Sehrai is new TeH chief

The Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani Monday resigned as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) after the pro-freedom party’s Shoora (executive council) decided to appoint general secretary Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai as the next chief.

With Sehrai’s appointment, speculations that Geelani’s son might fill the top post have been put to rest. T
The TeH, which is a key constituent of Hurriyat Conference (G), a conglomerate of 17 pro-freedom groups, was formed as a political party on August 7, 2004. Geelani has cited his health problems as a main reason for relinquishing the office.

Since its formation, Geelani won all the elections and continued to remain its chairman while Sehrai served as its general secretary. However, Geelani will continue to remain as the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) and also continue his association with Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) along with Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik.

According to Hurriyat sources the decision to appoint Sehrai as the chairman was made during a Shoora (executive council) meeting of TeH which was held few days back.
“The announcement was made today after Shoora held the meeting in this regard two days ago,” a TeH leader told Rising Kashmir.
According to Hurriyat sources, Sehrai will continue as the party chairman till the election is held for the post later this year. “In view of the arrest of various top leaders of TeH, the elections of the party can’t be conducted,” sources added.
Some top TeH leaders who are presently in different jails include Peer Saifullah, Ayaz Akbar, Geelani’s son-in-law AltafAhmad Shah (Fantoosh), Mohammad YousufFalahi, Mir Hafeez-Ullah and Shakeel Ahmad Yatoo.
Hurriyat sources said the decision to replace Geelani with Sehrai was taken keeping in view the health issues and other “political burden on Geelani.”
“GeelaniSahab himself took the decision that Sehrai will take over as the new chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. Geelani cited health reasons and political burdens…so he wanted Sehrai to take over the responsibility of TeH,” said another TeH leader.
Sehrai has remained associated with Geelani since long after he joined Jamaat-e-Islami. Earlier on the first foundation day of TeH on August 7 2004, some one lakh people had gathered at Hyderpora to express solidarity and commitment with the “objectives and goals” of Geelani.