Srinagar: Saying that its chief Syed Salahuddin had never contacted ‘any official of the government, non-governmental or security agency’, the Hizbul Mujahideen on Friday termed former RAW chief AS Dulat’s claim that Salahuddin asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to get a medical seat for his son a “lie taller than the Himalayas”.
This response came a day after the former RAW chief, in the run-up to the release of his book on Kashmir, made some claims about figures from Kashmir — including the Mirwaiz, the Abdullahs and the Muftis, apart from Salahuddin — in a TV interview.
In a press statement, Saleem Hashmi, a Hizb spokesperson said Dulat’s remarks were unfounded and meant to ‘create doubts in the minds of common people vis-à-vis the freedom struggle of Kashmiris’. Salahuddin’s son, the statement said, got a seat on merit after appearing in the entrance test.
On his part, expressing surprise over Dulat’s ‘assumption’ that the Mirwaiz could have joined ‘mainstream politics’ , an APHC spokesman said the Hurriyat’s “engagement with both India and Pakistan was only aimed at a resolution of the Kashmir dispute and not for any electoral ambitions”. The spokesman maintained that it is the APHC’s constitutional stand that the Kashmir issue can be solved either by implementing UN resolutions or through meaningful dialogue among the three stake holders: the people of Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan.
Dr Wahid, Syed Salahuddin’s son also issued a statement saying he had ranked 90th in the list of candidates selected for MBBS course in an entrance examination in the year 2000. He said the only help then government had provided him was to shift him from a Jammu medical college, where he had been “harassed by intelligence agencies to the point of giving up his studies”, to Srinagar medical college.
Salahuddin’s son reacts to Dulat
I want to clarify that the interview by former RAW chief, A S Dulat, aired live on India Today TV, and published in certain press, in which he has alleged that I was selected in MBBS after my father, Syed Salahuddin, sought this favor from the NC government through some IB officer. The allegation is a distortion of true story, floated to malign the image of my father for his character assassination. Either Mr Dulat is ill informed, or he has run out of his mind for he has mouthed total rubbish. Here are the facts that I want to put straight before the public.
In the first place, it was not the selection, but the migration from Jammu to Srinagar which was facilitated by the government. And please know what were the compulsions for me to migrate to Srinagar? I was selected through CET for MBBS at rank 92 in year 2000 purely on the basis of merit, hard work and dedication (which can be checked from the CET records). I got admitted in Jammu College, and being from a family with militant background, I had security apprehensions at Jammu. My fears came true as I continued there for nearly 2 months, and I was frequented by men from ‘security or IB agencies’ sometimes carrying pistols too. On the pretext of security investigations, the threat and harassment continued to the extent that I was forced to abandon the classes and lab work. My family was worried, who approached BOPEE authorities for migration who pretended helplessness. Next, court said the migration was against rules. As a last resort, I decided to abdicate the hard earned seat, and attempt in CET again next year. However my family approached the then government for help, who, sensing the political delicacy and scoring a point, did help me in migration in exchange of other Jammuite student. The order copy of which, signed by chief secretary lies with the principals of two colleges, BOPEE chairman and myself. Omar Abdullah himself has once acknowledged these facts on a news channel. The favor was done by the government because of security concerns.
There is not even an iota of truth in these allegations that my father called on JK government for any favor. Everybody knows his credentials. We are five siblings in total. Except my eldest brother (who is employed since pre-militancy time), none of us is in permanent job. Two are doing contractual jobs since 10 years, including one as Rehbar-e-Zira’at with M.Sc. in Agriculture. If Dulat thought that Syed Salahuddin could be lured in return of favors, then the story of our family would have been different. But my father’s steadfastness and sacrifices in the field and unflinching commitment to the cause is known to everyone.