Pakistani Flag Waved At Syed Ali Shah Geelani's Rally In Kashmir

1 May 2015

Tral: Pakistani flags were waved by supporters of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani at a rally that he addressed today in Tral, south Kashmir, after Friday prayers. About 15 to 20 Pakistani flags were spotted at the rally. Mr Geelani, 85, is the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference. He returned recently to the valley after three months in Delhi. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah this evening hit out at the BJP, an ally of the ruling PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, for maintaining silence. 'Imagine what @BJP4India would have said if as CM I'd been sitting in Bombay (Mumbai) surrounded by movie stars while Pak flags are waved in Kashmir,' Mr Abdullah wrote on Twitter. The former Chief Minister was referring to the waving of Pakistani flags in Tral and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed meeting Bollywood stars in Mumbai yesterday for promoting shooting of movies in the Valley. Another separatist, Masarat Alam was arrested last month after his supporters waved Pakistani flags and raised pro-Pakistan slogans at a rally in capital Srinagar that he had organized to welcome back Mr Geelani, who is his ideological mentor. Mr Geelani was put under house arrest at that time to prevent him from leading a march to Tral, which was tense after the death of a young man in Army firing. Amid nationwide outrage over Paksitani flags being waved at the Masarat Alam rally, the Centre had ordered the Jammu and Kashmir government, in which the ruling BJP partners the People's Democratic Party or PDP, to take 'immediate and stringent' action. After his arrest, union home minister Rajnath Singh had said, 'I want to assure the people of this nation that those involved in treason will not be spared.' Masarat Alam has been booked under the Public Safety Act, which allows the state to keep him in jail for two years without trial. He had been out of prison for about a month when he was arrested again. The 45-year-old, who spent five years in jail, is accused of organising stone-throwing protests in the Valley in 2010, during which more than 100 people died in police firing. His release in February this year, days after the new government took oath in Kashmir, became a flashpoint in the alliance between the PDP and the BJP, which have struggled to bridge an ideological divide to govern Jammu and Kashmir together.