Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik has laughed off the claims of former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief AS Dulat, that the intelligence agency paid for his hospital bills or flight tickets in the past.
"For the past 23 years, whenever I have travelled, I have taken my tickets from my travel agents. You can ask them who paid for the tickets, Dulat saab or Yasin Malik," he said, laughing.
Asked why he was laughing, Mr Malik said, "I am laughing that now, for Dulat saab, he thinks our price is an air ticket. That is the reason I am laughing."
In an interview with NDTV following his controversial memoirs, "Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years", Mr Dulat said that the agency kept in touch with various separatist leaders and organisations in Kashmir to "engage" with them and helping them with hospital bills and other things.
He confirmed that the intelligence agency had helped Mr Malik, and others, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, with medical treatment. Mr Malik, he said, had undergone a heart surgery at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Mr Malik said he had been a prisoner at the Agra Central Prison in the early 1990s, when he had been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for an open heart surgery.
He said the courts had not granted permission for him to undergo surgery at a private facility and the RAW had no role in the surgery.
Mr Dulat's memoirs and his comments have irked the Hurriyat Conference too, which, in a statement, said, "We out-rightly reject Dulat's contention..." The former RAW chief had said that Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq could have been made to join the mainstream politics.