Syed Ali Shah Geelani was born in Bandipora, Northern area of Jammu and Kashmir on September 29, 1929. He received his preliminary education from Botengo Primary School, then he studied in High School in Sopore, Kashmir, later he completed his studies at the Oriental College, Lahore, Pakistan.
Geelani started his political career from Jamat e Islami platform but later on he founded his own political party by the name of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat in the 50’s. He contested first elections in 1971. It was parliamentary election. He was nominated by Jamaat to contest elections from Baramulla and he became MLA of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
In 1962 when he was 30 years old, he was arrested for the first time and remained in prison for 13 months. During this period his father passed away but Indian forces didn’t allow him to participate in his father’s funeral. Indian forces accused him that he has secret contacts with Pakistan.
He always talked about a political solution for Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India. When Pakistan and India started war on Kargal he condemned it and talked about political negotiations rather than war. He is 85 years old now but still as young as he was in 50’s, his struggle and moral is still powerful and high. He is being considered as the pro Pakistani Kashmiri leader, Indian forces arrested him hundreds of time including house arrest because he is the most beloved leader in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri people love him and follow him therefore when Hurriyat Conference appealed of strikes against Indian government they always follow Hurriyat Conference’s decisions.
Syed Ali Geelani says that strike is the only weapon we have against Indian government and forces. He always talks with powerful arguments in favor of Kashmir because he dedicated his whole life for Kashmir. He is politically fighting against India since 50’s therefore he is well aware about the ups and downs of different political processes on Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
In 1983 when India and West Indies cricket match was scheduled in State Capital Srinagar he was the person who opposed it and said that it is illegal to organize this match on disputed territory (Kashmir) moreover, he said that Kashmir is not legitimate part of India. Then Indian forces arrested him once again and trialed him in court.
In 1991, Syed Ali Shah Geelani once again arrested along with the other Kashmiri Political leaders, Geelani was brought to the Indian capital, New Delhi, where they were offered conditional release by Indian government which he rejected heatedly.
He spent almost 15 years in various prisons and he survived lots of assassination attempts over past 25 years. He is 85 years, an old man but his resistance against Indian occupation is growing stronger day by day. He is a world famous Kashmiri leader and recognized as an anti –Indian Kashmiri leader. He is an ideologue who believes that Kashmir should be an Islamic state within a theocratic Pakistan because he believes that Kashmir is the part of Pakistan. He also strongly believes that independent Kashmir is the not the option because Independent Kashmir can’t survive between Pakistan and India therefore he always talk about referendum in Kashmir.
Geelani is the most favorite Kashmiri leader of young Kashmiri generation, he says to his young generation that “the source of inspiration is the Quran and the Sunnah”. He always says that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and Indian forces have to leave our land and Indian government should release all political prisoners and should talk about referendum in Kashmir.