Srinagar: In his first public meeting after quitting the IAS, Shah Faesal on Monday said Kashmir was a political problem that could not be solved by development packages. India and Pakistan should hold dialogue to resolve issue, he told the rally in his home district of Kupwara in north Kashmir, 100 kms from Srinagar.
The 2009 IAS topper, who resigned from the government services last month over “unabated killings in Kashmir and absence of credible political initiative from the Centre,” said the situation in the Valley over the past few years forced him to be the voice of the unheard people.
The 35-year-old former bureaucrat likened his tenure in the IAS to a jail term.
Faesal said during his service in the government he was always feeling suffocated. “I had the option of leading a comfortable life outside the country. But, I chose to end a barrier between an officer and public and from now onwards I will be with my people going from village to village,” he said.
“To tell you honestly, I spent the last 10 years in a jail. During these 10 years, in many ways I tried to serve my people and succeeded as well. But what I saw in these 10 years, despite being a senior government officer, the fire in my heart, the atrocities and injustices I saw, I used to feel helpless.
“I was looking for an avenue where I could talk for the people of Kashmir and also work for their betterment,” he said.
The former civil servant also appeared to win over youth by talking about human rights and freedom of expression. “I imagine a politics where youth can lead the change and take charge of their future. I wish to partner with a new generation of young leaders who can stand up for human rights, environment, free speech and rule of law,” he said.
Faesal, who launched a crowdfunding campaign on last Wednesday for his political initiative, said the atmosphere of corruption in the state was sucking everyone’s blood. Around Rs 4.82 lakh had been generated through his crowdfunding initiave and half of the money would be utilised for rehabilitation of pellet victims, he said.
Meanwhile, Faesal indicated that he would be treading an independent path in politics.
“I had never thought that my dream of clean politics and corruption-free administration in J&K would take the shape of a public movement. Respecting the public sentiment, I have decided to chart an independent political journey,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Earlier, there was a speculation that Faesal could join the National Conference and contest Lok Sabha elections from North Kashmir.