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'Naya Kashmir': Hardliner Geelani's granddaughter, Shabir Shah's daughter pledge 'loyalty' to India

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): Marking a seismic shift in the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir going into the Lok Sabha elections, the granddaughter of the late hardline Hurriyat patriarch, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and the elder daughter of jailed Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) founder Shabir Shah dissociated themselves from 'separatist ideology' and pledging their loyalty to "the sovereignty of the Union of India."

Ruwa Shah, Geelani's granddaughter, and the DFP founder-leader's daughter Sama Shabir, put out separate but identical notices in a local daily, declaring their allegiance to the 'Union of India'.

"I, Sama Shabir Shah, daughter of Shabir Ahmad Shah, resident of Afandi Bagh, Sanat Nagar, Srinagar, want to clarify that I have not been associated nor have any affiliation with the Democratic Freedom Party, nor do I have any inclination towards the ideology of the Democratic Freedom Party," the notice quoted Sama as stating.

"It is further clarified that I am a loyal citizen of India and I am not affiliated with any person or any organization which is against the sovereignty of the Union of India," she added.

Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on September 1, 2021, after a prolonged illness. His death was seen as the second big setback to the separatist campaign in Kashmir after the August 5, 2019 abrogation of the constitutional privileges for the erstwhile state under Article 370.

He was also a member of the legislative assembly in the erstwhile state from the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim United Front.

With the rise of anti-India insurgency in the Valley in 1989, Geelani renounced electoral politics and came to lead the separatist campaign in the state.

Before his death, Geelani had been under house arrest for 13 years. He was detained in 2010, under the chief ministership of Omar Abdullah, after he led a mass protest in Kashmir against the killing of four Kashmiri youths in an alleged encounter that left dozens dead.

However, in 2015, under the PDP regime of Mufti Muhammad Saeed, Geelani was allowed to leave the house for a few weeks.

However, after raising anti-India slogans in a public meeting, he was detained and put under house arrest again until his death.
Since the formation of JKDFP, Shabir Ahmad became the mouthpiece of the ISI, Pakistan's primary external intelligence agency that had been handling him through his Pak/PoK-based representative Mehmood Ahmed Sagar.

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