Shah Faesal ends ‘political gig’, resigns from party
Seventeen months after laying the foundation of a new political party, former Indian Administrative Service officer Shah Faesal has resigned as president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, saying that he wanted to “move on and start afresh.” .
The 37-year-old former bureaucrat on Sunday removed the party tag from his bio on social media, giving rise to speculation that he could rejoin the government or pursue other interests. Faesal formed the party in March 2019.
In a statement on Monday, the Peoples Movement said Faesal had stepped down as party president and vice president Feroze Peerzada had been appointed to replace him:
‘’State Executive Committee of J&K Peoples Movement (JKPM) in an online meeting today discussed the ongoing political developments in the state. In the said meeting, request of Dr. Shah Faesal to spare him from the organisational responsibilities was discussed. Dr Shah Faesal had informed State Executive Members that he is not in a position to continue with political activities and wants to be freed from the responsibilities of the organisation,” the statement said.
“Keeping in view this request, it was decided to accept his request so that he can better continue with his life and contribute whichever way he chooses,’’ it added .
Faesal resigned as an IAS officer in 2018, citing personnel reasons. He was detained at Delhi airport on August 4, 2019 after he reached the national capital from Srinagar, a day before Parliament pushed through constitutional changes revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two Union territories, J&K and Ladakh.
In his first comments after resigning, Faesal told India Today: “I am ending my short gig with politics. I don’t want to take Kashmiris down the garden path. Let truth be told.”
“There is a new reality in Kashmir and we have to come to terms with it. As a member of IAS, I have been a stakeholder in the future of this nation. I can’t imagine why some people would be anti-India. I can’t be seen as a traitor to a nation that has given me everything in life. I want to move on and start afresh. In whatsoever position that is,” Faesal said.
He said he was taking it one day at a time, “Life can’t stop. We have huge challenges of poverty, illiteracy, inequality and unemployment in front of us. I can’t waste my life in chasing illusions when there is so much to be done for the ordinary people. Where will I go next, only time will tell. But as of now, I am sure that I need to move and spread some positivity in my life and in the lives of others.”
Faesal is still under house arrest. After his arrest, he was first detained int Centaur Hotel, which was declared a sub- jail, along with other political prisoners and then moved to the MLAs Hostel; In February, the Public Safety Act was invoked against him, but was revoked before he was released in June. He was subsequently put under house arrest.
Shah Faesal was the IAS topper of 2010 and worked in various positions in the Jammu and & Kashmir administration. The government has not accepted his resignation yet.
Though some of his friends said he could rejoin the government, some others believe he wants to go to the US or UK for further studies.
The Peoples Movement statement also said the party had accepted the resignation of chairman Javed Mustafa Mir. a former minister who left the People’s Democratic Party to join Faesal’s group.