New Delhi: As the first anniversary of India scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir approaches, Pakistan’s Senate — its upper house of legislature — has a passed a resolution asking the Imran Khan government to confer the country’s highest civilian honour, the Nishan-e-Pakistan, upon Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The resolution, jointly moved by the government and the opposition Monday, stated that Geelani needs to be honoured for his “life-long services and sacrifices for the just and fair settlement of Kashmir issue in the light of UN Resolution”.
Last month, the nonagenarian had announced his resignation from the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, coming down heavily on his fellow leaders for “not reacting properly” and “not guiding the people of Kashmir” after Article 370 was scrapped on 5 August last year.
The Senate resolution also sought to also include Geelani’s life and his struggle for “Kashmiri freedom” in the Pakistani school curriculum.
Unanimous resolution lauding the services and struggles of Syed Ali Shah Gilani and acknowledging his role was passed by the House. pic.twitter.com/qCRt8CgQ55
— Senate of Pakistan (@SenatePakistan) July 27, 2020
It also recommended naming the Pakistan University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies, proposed to be built near the PM’s house, after Geelani.
The Senate proposed mobilising “the world conscience to help Syed Ali Shah Gilani (sic) get the best available medical treatment at a place of his choice”.
According to diplomatic sources, Pakistan plans to announce the award for Geelani around 5 August, the anniversary of the scrapping of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories — J&K and Ladakh.
“A formal announcement will be made soon. This was being discussed for some time now in Pakistan,” a diplomatic source told ThePrint, requesting anonymity.
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