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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti has said that the treatment meted to the body of veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Geelani was uncalled for, noting that one can fight with the living person, but the body must not get indifferent treatment.

Talking to the media, the Kashmiri leader said videos and news reports showed that the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were disappointed, KMS reported. She said: “You can fight with a person when he is alive, but once dead, you need to respect the body like others.”

Read Pakistan to observe mourning day over demise of Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani

Replying to a query about the cases filed against Geelani’s family for raising slogans and covering his body with the Pakistani flag, she said, India being the “biggest democratic country should not have behaved in such a manner”.

“The government should have allowed the family to perform the last rites of Geelani as per their wishes,” she said.

Mehbooba added that she too had differences with the iconic Kashmiri leader, but the dead body must not get indifferent treatment, saying “what we have seen was against humanity. Everybody’s last wishes are to be respected. The incident witnessed was against the cultural identity of India.”

She added that nobody can force anyone to love or hate a leader on the barrel of a gun.

Separately, speakers at a gathering paid tribute to the iconic Kashmiri leader.

Syed Ali Geelani has been the epitome of Kashmir freedom struggle against Indian occupation and he will long be remembered and honoured for his great sacrifices and leadership vision for the Kashmiri people.

This was the consensus of the speakers at the “Special Reference to Commemorate the Struggles of the Great Kashmiri Leader Syed Ali Geelani” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Peace and Culture Organisation Chairperson Mushaal Mullick asserted that the late leader exhibited the same level of resistance from the start of his political life till his last breath.

She said they would take the message of the iconic Kashmiri leader forward. “Even after his death, the occupational forces are afraid of him in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and they have deprived the people of bidding him a final farewell,” she added.

Altaf Hussain Wani, Director Programme, Kashmiri Institute of International Relations (PIIR) said Geelani faced all kinds of oppression with courage and bravery.

The life of Geelani sahab would be a great source of inspiration for future generations in standing against the injustices and subjugation of the nations, he added.

Dr Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said that the Kashmiri leader lived as a hero and died as a martyr. Geelani always remained steadfast on his principles and never made any compromises on his stance, therefore, he faced the wrath of the Indian government throughout his life, he added.

His obsession with Kashmir being part of Pakistan was not just a political manifesto, but it was his faith,” Dr Suleri said.

Director Legal Forum for the oppressed Voices of Kashmir, Nasir Qadri, while paying tribute to Geelani, said that his stance on continuous fight against oppression had given him the name of the resistance leader.