November 1999 News


J-K ministers helped a dubious Pakistani

1 November 1999
The Indian Express
By Muzamil Jaleel

SRINAGAR: Two senior cabinet ministers in the Farooq Abdullah government, says a confidential document of the special branch of the Jammu & Kashmir police, are suspected to have helped protecting and harbouring a Pakistani national allegedly involved in "dubious activities on behalf of external agencies." This has been brought to the notice of the state government.

While one minister said that a senior police official had a grudge against the Pakistani national, the other said he did not even know the person.

The Pak national, Sayed Shamim Ahmad, who came on a tourist visa, managed to stay in the state for over five years till he was arrested and handed over to the Chief Immigration Officer for deportation.

The directions from the Ministry of External Affairs regarding his immediate deportation had been issued last year (communication no. 14012/12-98-K, DO-1 dated 30-06-1998) as "his stay in the sensitive state was illegal and unauthorised."

The State Government even engaged him as Technical Advisor to the Haj and Auqaf minister, Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad Shah "to perform architectural services" and he was even provided with an armed security guard.

In a confidential communication sent to the State Home ministry by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Special Branch Jammu (No. CID/FR/5049-52 dated 18-09-1999) says he had" befriended Haj and Auqaf minister Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad, Minister for Information and Technology Ajatshatru Singh, National Conference MLA Sayed Akhoon and host of Jammu-based Muslim Federation activists."

The report says: "The Minister of Haj, Auqaf and Floriculture, despite advice, allegedly played an instrumental role in according grant of contract to an alien national for redesigning the Mahrab of the Idgah at Jammu".

The communication says the Haj and Auqaf department paid Rs. 40,000 to the Pak national. "This engagement of an alien national by the State Government is an infringement of Foreigners Registration Rules, as the prior clearance from the Government of India (GOI) has not been sought," the report revealed.

According to this report, "this Revenue department order also authorised the Pak national to tour sensitive borders, militancy-infested district of Rajouri etc."

The reports says the Pak national, who was hobnobbing with activists of separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference, had been receiving money through clandestine channels to indulge in a game-plan to create a base at Jammu "for carrying out dubious activities on behalf of some external agency."

Haj minister Shah said he first met the Pak national at the Jammu Idgah, where he was introduced to him as an architect. "I never knew him before. He gave some technical tips while we were redesigning the Mahrab at Jammu Idgah and also offered to work without fee. But we decided to give him some sustenance allowance," he said.

Admitting that it was a mistake not to have secured essential clearance before engaging him as technical advisor, the minister said, "It was a temporary arrangement but if Police had any adverse reports regarding his activities here, why was he deported without having reached the base of the matter?"

Shah alleged a senior police officer had personal grudge against the Pak national, who had come to claim his minor daughter from his divorced wife.

Shameem had been married to a local girl in Jammu over 15 years ago but had later divorced her. He had also been involved in legal cases with her.

Minister for Information Ajatshatru Singh denied any connection with Shameem. "I have never met any such person. It's surprise to me I will myself inquire how my name appeared in the report."

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