ISLAMABAD: After including Jammu & Kashmir in its new political map on the occasion of 5th August, Pakistan took another step awarding country’s highest civil award Nishan-i-Pakistan to Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani on Friday, 14th August.
Pakistan says that the award was given to him in recognition of his “decades-old struggle for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and will boost the morale of Kashmiri people who are engaged in this campaign”.
India has already rejected Islamabad’s move to including J&K on its paper map and termed it as mindless and fruitless exercise.
The award was conferred at a special investiture ceremony held at President House during the flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 74th Independence Day of Pakistan. The award was received by Convenor All Parties Hurriyat Conference Muhammad Hussain Khateeb along with other Hurriyat leaders.
The ceremony was attended by First Lady Samina Alvi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, federal ministers and services chiefs. While reading out the citation, Secretary Cabinet Division Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, who also moderated the ceremony, said Syed Ali Geelani started his political career in 1953 and formed APHC to provide a joint platform to Kashmiri leaders for their right to self determination.
From 2001 to June 2020, Ali Geelani headed the APHC and fought the case of Kashmiri people bravely despite facing house arrests, travel restrictions and other hardships from the Indian government. “After Indian illegal action of August 5, 2019, Ali Geelani played a brave role to build opinion against the Indian actions aimed at converting the Muslim majority into minority of the territory”, it was stated. Geelani was born in the Bandipora area of northern Kashmir on September 29, 1929.