Funeral Prayers in Absentia for Osama Held in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 6: The hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani led funeral prayers in absentia for slain Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who was killed in US commandos raid in Pakistan.

He lead hundreds of Kashmiri Muslims in offering funeral prayers in absentia for Osama at Batamaloo in the heart of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir.

Addressing people after the funeral prayers, Geelani flayed the United States for burying him at sea. “Muslim scholars and clerics across the globe have condemned this act and thousands have offered absentia funeral prayers for Osama just as we had gathered here,” he said.

The ailing separatist leader urged Kashmiri Muslims to pray for the safety and progress of Pakistan. “Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear armed country and some countries are conspiring against it to destroy its nuclear stockpiles,” he said.

“When power, military, arms, population, and technology come in the hands of morally corrupt people, they use force ruthlessly to establish hegemony over others; they divide humans on the basis of region, language, colour, etc. It’s the responsibility of youth to strive for empowering God-fearing, humanity-loving, honest and just people, who will not promote evil practices or moral waywardness,” Geelani said.

He reiterated that until the foreign occupation of Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places ends, peace would remain a distant dream.

He asked India to fulfill the promises made to Kashmiris on international forums and allow the people of Kashmir to exercise the right to self determination.

“India boasts of huge participation of people in elections in Kashmir. If they are so sure about Kashmiris being with them, let them hold a plebiscite and allow people to determine their fate,” the senior separatist leader said.

He urged youth to inculcate Islamic character and desist from immoral activities.

Besides, Kashmiri Muslims at several other places in the region offered funeral prayers in absentia for the slain Al Qaida Chief.