Ghalib, the son of hanged Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, said he is “proud” of owning an Aadhaar card. The 18-year-old is quick to insist that he must have an Indian passport now. Ghalib is in the middle of his preparations for NEET andwould prefer to make it to a medical college in India. At least I have one card to show, says Ghalib, proudly showing his Aadhaar card

BARAMULLA: Ghalib, the son of hanged Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru- in whose name the Pulwama suicide bomber blew a CRPF convoy + on February 14, is “proud” of owning an Aadhaar card.

“At least I have one card to show. I am happy,” Guru’s 18-year-old son tells TOI, turning over-joyous as he shows off his Aaadhar card at his home, situated against the mountains of Gulshanabad covered with Sunday night’s snow.

With a doting maternal grandfather Ghulam Mohammad and mother Tabassum by his side, Ghalib is also quick to insist that he must now have an Indian passport. “I will be a proud Indian citizen when I get my passport,” says Ghalib, while explaining how it will open doors for abroad for higher education.

Though the teenager, who is in the middle of his preparations for the medical entrance exam NEET - scheduled on May 5 - would prefer to make it to a medical college in India, he wants to hedge for a situation if he doesn’t. “If I don’t qualify here, I would like to go abroad. A college in Turkey may give me scholarship later on,” says Guru’s son, underlining that he is only fulfilling his father’s dream.

“We learn from the mistakes of the past. My father could not pursue his medical career (at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences). I want to complete it,” says Ghalib, looking at Tabassum.

Ghalib credits his mother for “isolating” him from the pressure of homegrown terror outfits and those from Pakistan to join their ranks.

Since Ghalib’s father was arrested and convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack, terror groups have indoctrinated youth in Kashmir to take up arms to avenge his hanging. The Pulwama suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar, for example, was part of the ‘Afzal Guru suicide squad’ arm of Jaish-e-Mohammad.

“The credit goes to my mother. She created an isolated space for me ever since I was in class fifth. She always said that even if someone said anything to me, I shouldn’t react. My priority is my mother and not what people say,” he says.

Ghalib’s grandfather and mother rally behind him, saying that none of the family members ever engages in any debate on Kashmir with anyone.

Just a few hundred meters ahead of the Guru residence, soldiers of 44 Rashtriya Rifles guard the village, which stayed relatively peaceful even during the post-Burhan Wani violence. Ghalib says he never faced any harassment from the security forces in the village. “Never,” he says emphatically. “I mean, there have been certain instances when I met them. But they always motivated me. They told me if I wanted to pursue medicine, they will never interfere with my studies or my family. They said I should stay focused on my dream and become a doctor,” he says.

His source of inspiration, Ghalib says is his 73-year-old maternal grandfather who did post-graduation in history more than half a century ago.

“I am proud of my grandson; he scored 95% in Class X and 89% in Class XII. He is pursuing an ambition which his father could not complete. I am sure he will definitely become a doctor,” says Ghulam Mohammad in impeccable English.