Snatching of Geelani’s body demonstrates India’s barbarity

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – September 8, 2021
NEW YORK (United States): Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) ambassador Munir Akram mourned in the UN general assembly (UNGA) that the most recent example of Indian barbarity is the snatching of the mortal remains of great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani.

According to a press release on Tuesday, he was speaking at the high-level forum on the culture of peace “Transformative Role of the Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-Covid Recovery” at the UNGA.

Ambassador Akram continued: Even as his family mourned his loss and prepared for his funeral, a heavy contingent of India’s occupation forces entered their home, and over the protest of family members, forcibly snatched Geelani’s body, denied him the last rites of a Muslim funeral and buried him in a nondescript place rather than the “cemetery of martyrs” as desired by Geelani before his death.

Geelani’s family members were charged for draping his body in the Pakistani flag — as he had wished.

During 7 decades of peaceful struggle against Indian occupation, Geelani was incarcerated for 50 years.

Yet, he never wavered from his demand for Kashmir’s freedom.

After being detained for the last 12 years, refused permission to seek medical treatment abroad despite his advancing age and failing health, Geelani passed away on September 1 – a week ago.

The Indian theft of Geelani’s body was accompanied by the imposition of a complete curfew in and the snapping of all electronic and other communications with and within the Kashmir Valley.

This is the cowardly and criminal conduct of India’s Hindutva colonisers of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

This assembly, and the UN bodies dealing with the promotion of human rights, must demand that: one, India allow Geelani’s body to be buried in the cemetery of martyrs as he and his family desired; two, his funeral be held consistent with customs and traditions of the Muslims of Kashmir; and three, the curfew imposed on the valley be lifted to enable his family, relatives and admirers to participate in his funeral and honour his life and legacy.

The manifestations of Xenophobia, violent nationalism and Islamophobia are most pervasively purveyed by the fascist ideology of Hindutva, led by the violent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organisation of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

India’s 200 million Muslim minority faces frequent lynching by “cow vigilantes”; pogroms by RSS thugs, with official complicity; discriminatory citizen laws to expel Muslims; and a concerted campaign to destroy mosques, build temples in their place, rewrite history, and obliterate the rich Muslim heritage of India.

Hindutva’s adherents in New Delhi are also embarked on the campaign to impose what they ominously call a “final solution” for the IIOJK.

They abrogated IIOJK’s statehood; unleashed a reign of terror; abducted 13,000 Kashmiri boys and tortured many of them; killed hundreds in “fake encounters”; jailed all Kashmiri leaders; violently suppressed peaceful protests; imposed collective punishments, destroying entire villages and neighbourhoods; and are embarked on changing IIOJK’s demography from a Muslim majority state to a Hindu majority territory.

Those responsible for these war crimes and crimes against humanity must be held accountable.

Pakistan has contributed to the objectives of a culture of peace, through the submission each year since 2004, along with Philippines, of the resolution on promotion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace.

We have also continued to work closely with the UN alliance of civilisations and high representative Miguel Moratinos.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) challenge has reaffirmed the transformative role of culture of peace.

If we all wish to promote a culture of peace, we must confront the culture of hate.

I ask the assembly to confront Hindutva, ambassador Akram concluded.