Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian charge d’affaires to the Foreign Office to condemn India’s “shameless snatching” of veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s body from his family and disallowing his burial to be held in accordance with his will.
“The Indian charge d’affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office today and conveyed Pakistan’s strong demarche on Indian occupation forces’ callous and inhuman handling of the mortal remains of the iconic Kashmiri leader and freedom fighter Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
It was also conveyed to the envoy that India’s actions were a “blatant violation” of international humanitarian laws and all tenets of civil and human rights, the FO added.
Geelani, who passed away on Wednesday, was buried in a tightly controlled pre-dawn ceremony on Thursday morning as Indian authorities imposed a lockdown across Indian-occupied Kashmir.
He was buried at a cemetery near his home in the main city of Srinagar, a police source told AFP. Only a small number of his relatives were present, including two of his sons, the source added.
Geelani, the most outspoken critic of India who spent several years in jail or under house arrest, had wanted to be buried at the Martyrs Cemetery in Srinagar. But authorities rejected that request, the police source said.
“We basically took control of the arrangements,” the official said.
In its statement today, the FO noted that authorities in Indian-occupied Kashmir had repeatedly “resorted to indiscriminate use of force against Kashmiris protesting [the forces’] inhuman conduct”.
In view of India’s actions in the past and to keep things from spiralling out of control in the occupied valley, there was a possibility of India “stage-managing some mischief” in Kashmir to divert attention and attempt to deflect the blame of its own indefensible actions on Pakistan or the Hurriyat leadership, the FO cautioned.
Pakistan stressed upon the envoy that India “must refrain from any missteps that might further jeopardise regional peace”.
He was also reminded of Pakistan’s stance that India should lift the “illegal military siege” in occupied Kashmir, stop measures aimed at changing the territory’s demography, withdraw its occupation troops and cease all its human rights violations, the FO added.
Pakistan’s position that lasting and durable peace in the region was dependent on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people was also conveyed to the Indian envoy, according to the FO statement.
Funeral prayers in absentia for the late Hurriyat leader were offered at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on Friday. President Dr Arif Alvi and other leaders attended the funeral prayers.
A day earlier, the Pakistani nation paid rich tribute to Geelani for his life-long struggle for justice and freedom, with the country’s flag flying at half-mast.
Funeral prayers in absentia were also offered in Karachi by members of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami.