A video of separatist leader SAS Geelani, who passed away in September after prolonged illness, nominating his close aide Abdullah Gilani as his successor has brought much embarrassment for the ISI which was pegging Masarat Alam as the genuine heir of the veteran leader.
Top Intel sources said the video was prepared a few days before the death of SAS Geelani and was released on Monday.
The video was released and shared by top politician and journalists in Pakistan, with credible inputs suggesting the ISI headquarter was not happy with the handling of the issue by officers from whom a complete report was sought.
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After Geelani’s departure, ISI hastily tried to project Alam as his genuine successor and projected him as political replacement for the separatist leader for their domestic constituency.
However, the release of the video has exposed the ISI, leaving them red-faced and adding to the confusion over the issue.
On September 5, a day before Masarat’s name was announced, the ‘Covert Action Divison’ (CAD) had raided Gilani’s house in Islamabad, asking him to not release the video. Chances are he will now be arrested.
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Alam was named the chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference or Tehreek e Hurriyat after Geelani passed away. “After the demise of our lifetime chairman Geelani and our senior leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has suffered an irreparable loss. Considering the challenges and the great role of the Hurriyat leadership, Massarat Alam Bhat has been elected as the next chairman of the Hurriyat,” a spokesman said in a statement issued in Srinagar.
Bhat is also a proponent of merging Jammu & Kashmir with Pakistan. At present, he is lodged in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi. He has spent over two decades in jails since 1990. He was last arrested on April 17, 2015 after his supporters raised pro-Pakistan slogans and unfurled Pakistani flags in Srinagar during a welcome rally organised for Geelani.