Ashraf Sehrai replaces Geelani as new Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman

Geelani with Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai at his residence

Geelani with Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai at his residence

Geelani, 88, cited his falling health and curbs on him by government as reason for resigning from the post of TeH's chairman.

Hurriyat sources said that the election within the party will be held later this year and Sehrai will till then continue as TeH chairman.

Sources in TeH said that a meeting was held at its office at Hyderpora and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was elected as interim chairperson till elections are held, adding that the election was delayed because most of the activists of Tehreek Hurriyat are imprisoned.

Though insiders say that the handing over of the charge was due to the old age of Geelani (he's 89), observers say that there were other factors that induced the change.

He further said that merely holding a position without practical contribution is injustice not only with the post, but the conscience as well, so today "I willfully step-down from the chairmanship and advice the Shoora to arrange an alternative at the earliest".

Sehrai, a Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue, has been a closest aide and friend of Geelani for around 50 years.

Geelani has been vocal about the separation of Kashmir from India. The separatist leader has also served as the president of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organisation fo separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

The moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is chairman of another faction of Hurriyat Conference.

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