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IAS topper Shah Faesal speaks on why he resigned and future plans

ABP News 2019-01-11 19:09:00
Srinagar: Shah Faesal, the former IAS officer who quit the service recently, on Friday shared his future plans, saying he would not join any mainstream political parties "as of now”. The 2010-batch officer conducted a press conference about his future course of action and said he was deeply inspired by the style of politics of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, but the "situation" in Jammu and Kashmir would not allow him to pursue politics their style.

Faesal told media "As of now, I do not have any plans to join any existing mainstream political party. I plan to go to the field, listen to the ground, to the youngsters and important stakeholders and then take a decision."

During his press conference, he also said phrases like 'azaadi', right to self-determination and plebiscite should not be seen as taboo words in the mainstream politics. "We have this political discourse and there are certain taboo words ... we should not talk about azaadi, we should not talk about azaadi, we should not talk about plebiscite... all these, which are not actually taboo words. Let the mainstream politics actually open its eyes to that vocabulary and re-imagine," he said.

He said he would be holding consultations with all staekholders including political parties before taking the next step. Asked if he would be contesting the elections, Faesal said, "I will be happy to contest the upcoming elections. In fact, I believe parliament and legislature are important space and we need well-meaning and right people there."

He said that in the recent years, due to the "delegitimising" of the electoral politics because of the way it has been conducted, youths are not attracted to it. "We need to change that. I wish to use Parliament for engagement, for bringing solutions to our problems."

On a question about the possibility of him joining the Hurriyat, Faesal said he would not do so as he cannot put to use his expertise in that forum. "I am a man from the system and I have an experience and my specialisation is in governance... I will be happy to do something in the institutions where I can use my experience as an administrator. I wish I could do that elsewhere as well, but because the Hurriyat does not give me that kind of opportunity, very rightly because Hurriyat does not believe in electoral politics. So, I think at this moment I may not be able to do that," he said.

However, he said it was wrong to assume the Hurriyat has no role in achieving resolution of the Kashmir problem. In response to a question about the timing of his resignation, Faesal said he did it at the right time. "Resignation is a weapon which can be used only once and I think I have used it at the right time."

Faesal said his new initiative of peace-building should not be seen as an alternative to the existing parties, but an addition. He said his resignation from the IAS has nothing to do with the factors within the service but factors external to it and the environment in which he was working there. He said that over last few years, in the state and rest of the country there have been circumstances that made him realise that this is time to speak up.

He said “I am resigning to protest the lack of political initiative to assuage the hurt feelings of people of Kashmir.”

Faesal said that due to the service conduct rules, it would not have been possible for him to speak out. "Today I'm feeling extremely relieved. I'm free now."

(agency inputs)