I have never met any RAW chief: Yasin Malik
Yasin Malik, Chairman of JKLF, responds to the Tehelka story on Pakistan’s Memogate
This is in reference to a report on Mansoor Ijaz published in Tehelka.com, “Memogate’s Mansoor Ijaz was once an NDA guest” by Iftikhar Gilani. The writer has mentioned about my meeting with Ijaz at a five-star hotel in Delhi. The write-up also quotes Ijaz claiming to have arranged my meeting with then senior RAW official CD Sahay in the hotel room. For Tehelka readers, I want to put things in proper perspective, lest it create misunderstanding.
Somehow in the last week of November 2000, I was invited for a Kashmir Conference organised by a Mumbai-based think-tank Strategic Foresight at the Bristol Hotel, in the outskirts of Delhi. Some 70-80 people from Kashmir had descended to attend the meeting, which included representatives of Jammat-e-Islami Firdous Asmi, Mohammad Muzaffar Jan and others including some professor from KashmirUniversity. Abdul Majeed Matoo, also an activist of then united Hurriyat Conference, was also present along with the CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigmi.
I made my presentation on the first day of the conference. In the evening, I saw media persons swarming the venue. I was told that some person claiming himself envoy of then US President Clinton is also attending the meeting. It was for the first time, I saw Mansoor Ijaz. He spoke at the meeting and virtually attacked and criticised Muslims and Kashmiris in particular. His utterances made our blood boil. He even went to the extent of calling the Kashmir movement an outcome of radicalism and being financed by the Arab Sheikhs.
We got incensed at his speech, I alongwith Abdul Majeed Matoo and other Kashmiris present there, stood up and protested against his speech, which was totally uncalled for. It almost led to a scuffle. We shouted him down. I grabbed the mike and spoke again that day, refuting allegations and impression Ijaz had created about Kashmir movement.
Next day, I got a message from Ijaz saying he regretted his speech and wanted to apologise personally. He invited me to his hotel room, which I accepted out of courtesy. He was staying at Taj Palace Hotel. When he received me in his room, I saw another person (who by appearance looked a native Indian) in the room. He didn’t introduce me to the man. (Ijaz claims to have arranged a meeting between CD Sahay and Yasin Malik).
Ijaz regretted the incident and his speech. He told me he was mentally disturbed. He also apologised his utterances against Muslims and Kashmir movement. I took pity and accepted his apology. We had been released quite recently in June 2000 from Jodhpur prison. He sympathised with me.
The unidentified person in the room kept quiet during the whole discourse. He intervened once, and without introducing himself, attempted to persuade me to meet then RAW chief AS Dulat. Earlier also some persons had through some friends been persuading me to meet Dulat. But, I had been repudiating such attempts.
I didn’t pay much attention to what this unidentified person was trying to say. It was also a shock for me, a person trying to persuade me to meet RAW chief. Earlier, R K Mishra had even tried to persuade me to meet Dulat. Seven month after this conference, I was in London and met Benazir Bhutto at her residence. Ahead of my meeting, Benazir had an appointment with Mansoor Ijaz. She was also not sure of credentials of this man. She even enquired about Ijaz. She confided that this man (Ijaz) was offering to negotiate her return to Pakistan, provided she seeks separation from her husband Asif Zardari. She had also rebuked this specious person over this proposal.
Therefore, I challenge, if anybody proves, I have ever met any RAW chief, I would retire from public life. I have met intelligence sleuths. They do come to see us, when we are in jails. You cannot stop them, when you are yourself helpless and caged. But they had been all sleuths from Intelligence Bureau, and never from RAW. I again offer to retire from public life and politics, if it is proved, I have ever met any RAW chief of this person, who was in the room with Ijaz in November 2000, again in my life.