Srinagar: As former IAS officer Shah Faesal launched his own political party—the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement— in Srinagar on Sunday, hundreds of his supporters said they are hopeful that he will “find a solution to the Kashmir problem.”
The party’s launch event was held in a playground in uptown Rajbagh area of city and Faesal, who resigned from the services in January this year, was thronged by his new colleagues, including some prominent businessmen.
The UPSC topper resigned said he resigned from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in January this year to protest against the “unabated killings in Kashmir” and Delhi’s refusal to initiate a political process in the state.
“In the past 70 years, our political class has been transacting a politics that pushed people to a sort of slavery,” Faesal said in his address.
He said he was approached by two parties in Kashmir. “But when people heard that I would be joining them, they cautioning me and said that the hands of these parties are soaked in the blood of Kashmir and if you join them, we will not see your face again.” Faesal said this is what compelled him to launch his own party.
He also released the vision document of his party. The first point of the document says: “The party shall pursue a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem as per the will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir State.”
Faesal was a medical doctor before he cracked the civil service exams. Lashing at the local political parties for calling him a Delhi’s conspiracy, he said, the time will judge him.
“Now the same people who were asking me to join them are saying it is Delhi’s conspiracy and that I am a BJP or an RSS agent,” he said. This, he said follows the age-old rule. “People tend to reject the new ideas first and then they resort to conspiracies and finally resort to war. I tell you, I am ready to face this criticism and I am ready to fight this war.”
“For more than 100 years, we were managed like the herds of cattle,” Feasal said. “The indignation of that Treaty is still not forgotten.”
Hundreds of people who attended his rally said they are hopeful that Faesal will solve Kashmir issue.
Hundreds of people attended the rally on Sunday.
Zafar Ahmad, a resident of Ganderbal, said politicians in Kashmir have deceived them for long but Faesal seems different. “Our priority is not development but the solution to the problem of Kashmir. We want peace. He is a selfless person who resigned from a prestigious post only to serve us,” said Ahmad.
Most people in the rally were optimistic that Faesal would bring peace to Kashmir.
Faesal said his focus will be the youth of the state. “Our party is youth-oriented because youth are the principal victims of the crisis. They deserve priority over all other sections of the society because they are being killed, pelleted, injured and jailed,” he said.
Faesal said the idea of the party is to put a closure to the blood bath because it devastates families, including those of the armed forces. He said the people living on the LoC and IB are caught between two armies and their lives are in grave danger because of the rivalry between the two countries.
Former JNU student leader and activist Shehla Rashid, who has also joined Faesal, said their aim is to seek “development with dignity.”
Rashid said the women in Kashmir are most vulnerable and must join the party. Referring to the ban of student unions in Kashmir, Rashid said the party is an ideal platform for those students who have been denied their basic right to express political dissent. “I have come from student activism. It is not a party, it is a movement,” she said.