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Altaaf Khan

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Altaaf Khan is the protagonist/anti-hero of the 2000 Bollywood film, Mission Kashmir. He is a young Kashmiri Muslim who resorted to terrorism to avenge the tragic deaths of his family committed by police officers.

He was portrayed by the Bollywood actor, Hrithik Roshan.

Biography

In 1989 at age 11, Altaaf was living in the village of Dalgate with his parents and sister, developing a habit of creating beautiful artworks. However, it wasn't until he met a wanted terrorist named Malik Ul Khan, who, along with his men, were offered shelter by Atlaaf's parents. Several Kashmiri officers, led by their Senior Superitedent Iniyat Khan, have taken note of the terrorists' current location and prepare to wipe them out without taking innocent lives. This was on a personal motive that Khan took upon, due to a certain accident that caused the life of his son Irfaan, since the doctors refused to treat Irfaan due to a fatwa instigated by Malik threatening to kill any doctor and his family if he should ever treat a policeman.

After closing in onto the terrorists' location, Khan and his men start to shoot them down to their deaths. Unfortunately, Atlaaf's parents and sister are caught in the crossfire and they accidentally end up being killed along with the terrorists, all witnessed by a screaming Altaaf as he watches the scene in complete horror. He is then haunted by the masked policeman (who is none other than Khan) looking at him before passing out. Traumatized by the loss, Altaaf hasn't spoken a word as he ends up being jailed by Khan's officers, who end up being berated by an angry Khan for imprisoning an innocent boy. Khan's wife Neelima, having lost Irfaan and feeling sorry for Altaaf, convinces her husband to help her adopt Altaaf. Khan, despite his fear that Altaaf may one day discover the truth and get revenge for it, reluctantly agrees as he hold extreme remorse for killing Altaaf's family.

Upon arriving at Khan's house, Altaaf becomes haunted by recurring nightmares of the masked policeman, and started drawing gruesome pictures of it, but later on, he is comforted by both Khan and Neelima. Just when Altaaf seemed to have settled down in his new home and accepted Khan and Neelima as his new parents, he finds Khan's mask and realizes that Khan was one of the policemen who killed his family. After an unsuccessful attempt on Khan's life, the angry Altaaf runs away. He is then found by Hilal Kohistani, a Pathan leader of a group of terrorists. Seemingly taking pity on the traumatized boy, Hilal took him under his wing and raised him to become a terrorist, brainwashing him into believing that he is acting on behalf of the name of Islam.

10 years later, Hilal was given the task to complete a terrorist operation called Mission Kashmir, which involves killing the Prime Minister during his visit to Srinagar, or as Altaaf was seemingly told. Hilal assures to his fellow men that the operation will go well as long as he has Altaaf's loyalty and cooperation. While helping out his fellow terrorists, Atlaaf meets his childhood Sufiya Parvez, who has become a TV personality. Despite falling in love with Sufiya and helping her out with her shows, Altaaf was more focused in completing Mission Kashmir's first task, which is to blow up the local TV tower of Srinagar on Khan's birthday. Thought the task was a complete success, this resulted an upset Sufiya to break up her relationship with Altaaf after learning that he's a wanted militant.

While taking refuge in one of terrorists' hideouts (due to being branded as a wanted criminal by the media), he plans another attempt on Khan's life by having several of Hilal's men to plant up a bomb in Khan's briefcase. Unfortunately, Neelima falls victim to it by accident, much to the complete distraught of both Khan and Altaaf, with the former losing his chance to apologize for his earlier argument with her and the latter screaming in remorseful agony for killing her.

Eventually, Khan and his men manage to track down one of the hideouts after capturing the bomb-briefcase men, and soon discover evidence regarding to Mission Kashmir. After going through several tapes with Sufiya, Khan soon learns of a horrible realization: the true goal of Mission Kashmir was not to kill the Prime Minister, but actually to blow up the local holy shrines of Srinagar with missiles to escalate Hindu-Muslim conflicts around Kashmir and turn it into a war zone. It also turns that the attack on the TV tower was planned by Hilal and his fellow conspirators to spread the rumor of assassinating the Prime Minister to cover up their goal. It also turns out that Hilal has deliberately kept the true goal of Mission Kashmir as a secret from Altaaf, for he feared that the young man wouldn't approve of it when being told; this was evident of when Altaaf prepares to leave for the launches, Hilal tells one of his men to keep an eye on Altaaf and kill him if he doesn't consent over what the true targets will be.

Though Khan manages to track down Hilal, he is shocked to realized that Altaaf and the rest of Hilal's men has left to prepare for the launches. Deciding to play wise on this, Khan offers a deal to Hilal: he will allow Hilal's men to continue with their mission in exchange for killing Altaaf to avenge Neelima's death. Hilal accepts the deal and bring Khan over to the swampy hideouts, where Altaaf and the other terrorists are preparing the launchers. Upon being told of Khan's current whereabouts by Hilal, Altaaf unleashes his rage onto a weary Khan to exact revenge for his family's demise. Despite being beaten up, Khan reveals to Altaaf about the true goals of Mission Kashmir and that Hilal has lied to him all these years. Hilal angrily orders Altaaf to shoot Khan in the head. Khan, expressing his dear love for Altaaf and remorse for killing his family, is willing to accept his fate, but begs Atlaaf to stop Hilal in his tracks. As Altaaf struggles to shoot Khan, he soon remembers that he once went to the shrines since Neelima took him there as a child. He also remembers the importance of choosing sides that she told him during her earlier visit.

Knowing that his mother wouldn't approve of what would happen, Altaaf angrily turns the gun on Hilal and shoots him (though not fatally). Deciding to give up his goal for revenge and redeem himself for his crimes, Altaaf aids Khan into getting to the launchers. He then confronts Hilal for his lies and treachery he has done in the name of their religion, and is about to put him out of his misery. Before Altaaf shoots Hilal to his death, Hilal (with an evil smile) sets off a bomb to distract him and Khan before he dies, allowing Hilal's men to prepare launching the missiles at the holy shrines. As Khan shoots several of the terrorists to the deaths, Altaaf spotted a spare launcher and used it to destroy the other launchers and kill the remaining terrorists to save the shrines, at the cost of being shot in the torso. Losing consciousness, Altaaf falls into the swamp, but is rescued by Khan, who then takes him to shore, evading the explosions of the hideouts.

As Mission Kashmir ends up being revealed to the media following the deaths of Hilal and his men, Atlaaf is having a beautiful dream based on one of art paintings as a child before waking up in Khan's house. He then reconciles with Sufiya and Khan, forgiving the latter by accepting him as his father after 10 years.

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