Syed Ali Shah Geelani
was an Islamist, pro-Pakistan separatist leader in Jammu and Kashmir,
regarded as the father of insurgency in Kashmir.
He was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir between 1953 and 2004,
and regarded as one of its top leaders. He left Jamaat in 2004 and founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a key constituent of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a conglomeration of separatist parties in Kashmir. Geelani served as the Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference until he quit the group in June 2020.
Geelani was also a three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Sopore constituency, elected on a Jamaat-e-Islami ticket in 1972, 1977 and in 1987. He was the most popular leader in Kashmir after the death of Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah. People affectionately call him “Bab” or “Father”. He was widely seen as a determined, honest and incorruptible leader.