July 08, 2020
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Firdous Syed Baba

The ex-Kashmir militant on his biography Death of Dreams: A Terrorists Tale

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Firdous Syed Baba
Yasin Malik didn't. What made you tell your story to your biographer, Aditya Sinha?
I wanted to share my experience with my people.

Most biographies suffer from half-truths. Have you been completely honest?
I've tried to be honest. Now I am waiting for the readers to respond. Maybe the author will be able to comment better on that.

The book doesn't explore your personal life. Why?
It wasn't the focus. I'm a private person and I didn't want to bore people.

Was your family supportive of what you were doing, especially when the whole matter of the kidnapped Swedes became a big issue?
During those days there was no link with my family. Certainly the fact that we weren't in touch was traumatic for them. They were perplexed.

What was the rationale behind your joining the National Conference?
It's a matter of doing something for your people.

Shabir Shah was one of your earliest influences. Are you still in touch?
We differ ideologically but I am still close to him on a personal level. As a leader he has to bring clarity.

Do you feel the National Conference has the political will to bring peace to the Valley?
The main issue is how the violence can be ended. We have some differences with the Centre but in the end I feel that we need everybody to bring peace in the Valley.

Which militant outfits are you still in contact with?
I know them as individuals not as institutions. It requires tremendous courage to come back into the system but we are trying.

But now that there are mercenaries in the Valley, how can the situation be brought under control?
Their involvement's complicated things; our message to them is to leave us alone.

Your family has traditionally supported the National Conference. Is that why you decided to join them?
No. This was my sole decision. My family had no role in it whatsoever.

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