In December 2020, Ruwa Shah wrote in Al Jazeera about her grandfather Syed Ali Geelani.
(He was) now struggling to comprehend the most mundane things going on around him. He could not even recognise the faces of his own family members.
Ruwa Shah’s statement in her write-up was testimony to the fact that Syed Ali Geelani has been suffering from dementia for two years. She admitted that Geelani, her maternal grandfather, is not able to recall and identify his family members. Those near and dear to Geelani have publicly stated that the old man is not able to recognise people around him.
But Pakistan is making the comatose Geelani speak.
On July 2, Geelani tweeted: Political prancing about in New Delhi and Srinagar meaningless and infantile. Observe complete shutdown on July 8 and 13 as a gesture of solidarity and full adherence with the mission of the martyrs. Pakistan, this statement is so ISI. It has ISI stamped all over it. How come Geelani’s masters are not aware that his popularity among the Kashmiri youth sharply declined soon after Burhan Wani emerged on the scene as the poster boy around 2016. Geelani was elbowed out by new generation terrorists Burhan, Zakir Naik, Riyaz Naikoo and others.
There was no love lost between the terrorist commanders and Geelani. The old man’s carefully constructed political empire was crumbling before his eyes. Soon, he lost grip over the separatist and secessionist narrative.
The State Nails Geelani
Simultaneously, for the first time in his political career spread over 45 years, the law enforcement agencies started investigating Geelani’s assets. Hawala channels funneling the riches to him were busted. Geelani’s sons and sons in law came under the scanner. The so-called grand-daddy of Kashmiri separatism was easily tamed. He fell silent. For decades, Geelani lorded over the deaths of the Kashmiris. He flourished while they suffered. But life came full circle for Geelani. He had never imagined that his children would taste suffering too. It has happened.
Pakistan is attributing the statement over the Delhi meeting and the sham bandh call to a man neither dead nor alive.