Srinagar: Shah Faesal who recently resigned from the Civil Services today said that Hurriyat can’t provide him a chance to express himself as they don’t believe in electoral politics. He said that youth have lost interest in politics due to kind of politics that is being conducted in Kashmir.
Addressing a jam packed press conference here in Kashmir capital Srinagar, Shah Faesal said, “I must thank all the well wishers who have supported me in this amazing journey.”
“This service has given me an opportunity to understand the problems of the state and serve the people at gross root level.”
“In last few years there have been some circumstances within the state and rest of the country which made me realize that there is time to speak up. By today’s resignation I am putting across a small act of defiance to remind the central government of its responsibilities towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
He added, “I am resigning in protest against the lack of political initiative to assuage the hurt feelings of people of Kashmir. Lack of a credible political initiative from Central Government and denial of justice to the people of Kashmir has resulted in the massive escalation of violence in the Valley due to which lot of lives have been lost in recent years.”
“I wish to remind to Central Government that it is important that the right to life of the Kashmiri youth be respected. At the same time, if we look at the recent years we have seen serious attacks on the special identity of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
He said, “The constitutional arrangement which exists between state of Jammu and Kashmir and Union of India and the articles like 370 and 35-A have been constantly invoked for electoral gains in India.”
“One more important source of my rejection with the present government is the failure of the government to facilitate the homecoming of Kashmiri Pandits to the Kashmir Valley,” he said.
Shah Faesal said, “Kashmiri Pandits are an important element of our diverse culture and unless you create a situation and circumstance favourable to their return in Valley, they will not be able to come back. It has also failed to bring peace in border regions of the state including RS Pora, Rajouri and other areas where loss of life is a regular feature.”
“Outside the state we have seen that there are constant attempts to undermine the regional integrity of the state. And an attempt is being made to pit one region with the another – Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley which are equal in character and any attempt to play one region against another needs to be resisted,” he said.
He said, “When it comes to factors outside the state the rise of lynch mob nationalism has led to extreme marginalization of the of both ideological and religious minorities of the country. It has become a source of extreme rejection for me.”
“I also wish to express that curbs are being placed on the free speech of individuals in the country. A culture of hate and intolerance are being used to win elections in India. The credibility of important institutions like NIA, RBI and CBI are being undermines and these have the potential to deface the edifice of the constitution of India,” he said.
He said, “Today when I spoke up, I am feeling extremely relieved. I wish to make an appeal to the people of India that they need to come to the rescue of the people of Kashmir. It’s time we work together and counter hateful communal elements to ensure tolerance and peace. I will be expecting the support from people across the country.”
“I will go to people and its time to re-imagine the politics of Jammu and Kashmir. Its time that we destruct the politics of Jammu and Kashmir the way it has been happening,” he said.
When asked why he can’t be like Imran Khan of Pakistan and launch his own party, Shah Faesal said that he is deeply inspired from Imran Khan and Kejriwal. “We know that we are operating in a conflict zone and it’s not very easy for us to work in that space that has lost legitimacy in last few years. I wish if the youngsters of the state will give me that kind of opportunity I will be very happy to do a retake of Imran Khan and Kejriwal in the state,” he said.
In response to a question, Shah Faesal thanked Engineer Rasheed for inviting him. He said that he will meet the youth and arrive at a consensus before taking any decision to join any party.
Shah Faesal said, “Mainstream politics should be re-imagined and we need to tell the truth to the people. As of now, I don’t have any plans to join any existing political party. As of now I am planning to go to the field and listen to youngsters, people and stake holders and then only will take decision.”
In response to a question, Shah Faesal said that he will be very happy to contest upcoming elections and in fact I believe that parliament and legislative space is an important space. “We need well meaning and right people in politics. Its just that in recent years due to de-legitimization of electoral process, because the way it has been conducted, we have lost the trust and our youth are not attracted towards it. I think we need to change that attitude,” he said.
When asked whether he will like to fight elections as independent candidate, Shah Faesal said that he will take the decision only after talking to people.
Over the launch of his own party, Shah Faesal said that his only worry at this stage is that there is lot of trust deficit among youngsters. “The moment you start a party, people say that this is a party sponsored by the Agencies. The moment you go Independent, people say he is an Agency person. The moment you join the existing political party people have problems in that as well. Unless there is a consensus, I won’t take any decision. From tomorrow I am going to meet people and try to understand them,” he said.
When asked why he doesn’t join Hurriyat Conference, Shah Faesal said: “I am a man from the system and I have an experience and specialization in the Governance. I am not essentially trained in politics, so I will be happy to do something in an institution where I can use my skills as an administrator. I wish I could do that elsewhere as well but because Hurriyat doesn’t give me that kind of opportunity very rightly because they don’t believe in electoral politics. We have to accept the difference of opinion. So I think, at this moment, maybe I may not be able to do that.”
Shah Faesal said that different narratives are being fed to the people of India about Kashmir. “People of India are being fed with narratives that youth in Kashmir are jobless, they are drug addicts and have suicidal tendencies. My narrative is that there are sentiments in Kashmir. We have to propagate this narrative which is absolute truth,” he said.
Shah Faesal said that he will do a different kind of politics. “In Harvard, I witnessed how great people with lucrative jobs have resigned and brought change in the society. Harvard taught me it is very easy to leave the jobs and give sacrifices,” he added. (CNS)
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