Pakistan conferred Nishan-e-Pakistan Award upon Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Independence Day, August 14.
The prestigious award was received by Hurriyat leaders at the Aiwan-e-Sadr Friday on behalf of Geelani.
Geelani was born in the Bandipora area of northern Kashmir on September 29, 1929. A staunch advocate of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, he has been the leading voice against Indian oppression and injustice in the occupied valley.
The Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organisation formed in 1993 by various pro-freedom groups in Kashmir, provides a political platform for voices that wish to rid the area of Indian occupation.
However, there was a split in the group in 2003 with Geelani leading a separate faction that was in favour of accession to Pakistan. The split formed when Geelani walked out after another group decided to hold talks with New Delhi.
Geelani was elected chairman for life of his Hurriyat group, which comprises 24 constituent parties.
The other faction is led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who has been under house arrest since August last year. Both Hurriyats used to regularly issue statements and protest programmes against the Indian leadership.
Kashmir Solidarity Day
Pakistan is celebrating Independence Day today. In his message, President Alvi stated that the country was observing it as the “Kashmir Solidarity Day” in light of India’s illegal attempt at the annexation of the occupied territory.
On his Independence Day message, President Alvi reassured Pakistanis that the people of occupied Kashmir will get their right to self-determination.
“I assure the resilient people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir that Pakistan will continue to support them in their just struggle for their Right to Self-Determination as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said.
Public and private buildings as well as streets bazaars and markets have been profusely illuminated. National flags, buntings, portraits of founding fathers, posters and banners are also seen everywhere as part of the celebration of Independence Day.
“We need to stand united to meet the social, economic and security challenges being confronted by the nation,” the president said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in his message also congratulated the entire nation on 74th Independence Day.
“During past seven decades of our journey, we have confronted with various challenges. We have battled against odds both at external as well as internal fronts.
From the hostility of a neighboring country, with its known hegemonic intentions, to the scourge of terrorism and from coping with natural calamities to fighting pandemics, our nation has always shown resilience and perseverance,” said PM Imran.
“While we celebrate this Independence Day, our hearts are profoundly grieved by the sufferings of our brethren in Indian occupied Kashmir who are facing military siege since past one year.
We stand firmly behind our Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for their right to self-determination,” said PM Imran.