Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) exam topper Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak is ecstatic over the mention of his name by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address and said the words were an inspiration for him to do something good for the people. “I am very thankful to the Prime Minister for encouraging me. It will give me further boost and work as an inspiration to do something better in future,” 27-year-old Khattak told PTI here. Modi had named the state civil services topper, resident of remote Mohra Bachai village in Surankote area of Poonch district, in his radio address. “I came to know the inspiring story of Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, who is a topper in KAS examination in Jammu and Kashmir. He actually extricated himself from the sting of terrorism and hatred and topped in the KAS exam. “You will be surprised to know that terrorists had set his ancestral home on fire in 1990,” Modi said during his half an hour long address yesterday.
Khattak said the prime minister’s words “mean a lot to me and I am very happy for that as the statement will continue to encourage me”. I will work with more dedication to serve the people with more vigour, he said. Sharing his experience of hailing from a remote village to becoming the topper of the prestigious KAS exam, the young officer-to-be said he spent his early decade in the village before the family decided to move to Jammu due to the lurking threat of violence. “After 10 years in the backward area, my father wanted us to do something big and decided to move out from the insurgency prone area, at a time when there were calls for every household to enlist at least one member who would support them (terrorists),” he said.
Khattak said he is the middle one among five siblings and has two elder brothers and two younger sisters. “My father is a lecturer but there was no proper infrastructure for education. My two brothers were studying in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and violence coupled with diktats forced my father to initially shift from the village to Surankote,” he said.
He said over a dozen houses including their ancestral house were set ablaze hastening their migration from the village. “After staying in Surankote for some time, my father decided to move to Jammu, where we stayed in rented accommodation for nine years,” he said.
Khattak said he completed his basic education from Jammu before doing engineering in computer science from Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in Rajouri district.