National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) ongoing campaign against Kashmir money launderers has brought many skeletons out of the closet. Syed Ali Geelani is the main benefactor as also worst sufferer. Benefactor, in terms of siphoning money from across the border to fund terror besides leading luxurious life and suffer by way of losing face in the Valley.
Geelani has mastered in misleading his people by telling lies and exploiting sentiments, especially those of the poor. While eulogizing every death in the Valley as martyrdom, he has never encouraged his kin to ‘die for the noble cause of Kashmir’, which is why his elder son Dr Nayeem Geelani is serving in the State Health Department and younger son as Students Welfare Officer in Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Srinagar. His son-in-law Altaf Fantosh is in a roaring business. On the contrary, Kashmir’s flourishing grave-yards, known as Mazar-e-Shuhada, across the Valley are for the sons of Sulla and Gulla, whose hopes keep rehabilitating graves for separatists like Geelani to pay homage each year and sustain their Made in Pakistan enterprise.
What a paradox! Last autumn, when the students of entire Kashmir Valley were getting restless while sitting in their homes for months together, Geelani’s grand-daughter appeared for examination in the highly guarded examination centre in Srinagar’s Indoor Stadium.
These are the two sides of Kashmir story. Thus far, the people had heard about the one side of story but courtesy NIA they are getting to know the other part of the sordid tale. And, this tale is about Geelani siblings, who are allegedly involved neck-deep in money laundering. This murky face of the Kashmir separatist campaign has exposed Geelani to the hilt. The people are realizing how they have been exploited and cheated all these years since 1990. They may not speak out in so many words for the fear of Pakistani guns but they demonstrated their anguish by not giving heed to the arrests of separatists, including son-in-law of Syed Geelani.
Geelanis have not ditched their own people; they are equally playing truant with the NIA that seems determined to nail all the recipients of Pakistan’s dirty money. Dr Nayeem Geelani responded to the NIA summons by getting himself admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of SMHS Hospital and younger son Naseem Geelani is trying to have best of his impending arrest by milking the government funds. To the summons of the NIA, which were served to him through his semi-government autonomous SKUAST-K, the younger Geelani, says “I am thankful to the NIA authorities that they served me this notice through my head of the department, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K . It reads as: Copy to: Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Shalimar, Srinagar, J&K for information and necessary direction to above Naseem Geelani, Asstt. Professor, FOF, SKUAST-K. I hope that the NIA authorities will keep in consideration my engagements in teaching, research, extension and student welfare activities as I am also serving as the Students Welfare Officer of my faculty and will prioritize my questioning time and duration. I also hope that the Delhi police may accordingly be informed so that there will no issue of Security. Regarding the travel expenses, I will consult my university as they are already informed.”
So, on the pretext of students’ welfare, Naseem Geelani wants the NIA not to detain him anymore. And as far as travelling to Delhi is concerned, he wants to get travel expenses from the University. This is the upbringing Geelanis have got in an atmosphere where the elder Geelani used to get all sorts of concessions in terms of travel expenses, boarding, loading, medicare etc from the governments in New Delhi and in Srinagar. While Naseem Geelani has started playing welfare card of Kashmiri students, the elder Geelani keeps on indoctrinating poor Kashmiri youth. In one of his statements in June 2015, he had said, “Our beloved youths are consciously adopting the path of brave hearts against the forced and illegal military occupation of India and they are sacrificing their ‘youthhood’ (sic) for the better future of their nation but the cruel and merciless forces of India are also killing our those innocent and unarmed students who have no arms in their hands and whose only crime is that they take part in the peaceful protest demonstrations.”
Kashmiris will be within their rights to ask as to why Nayeem, Naseem or Altaf Fantosh did not ‘consciously adopt the path of brave-hearts’!
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper