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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 6:37 PM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 10:36 PM (IST)

Willing to contest forthcoming polls, says Kashmiri IAS officer who resigned

Tribune News Service
Srinagar, January 11  

IAS officer Shah Faesal, who has announced his resignation, on Friday said it was a strategic decision and he was willing to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections but would not be joining any political party “as of now”.

Addressing a press conference here, he ruled out the possibility of joining separatist Hurriyat Conference saying his experience in governance could not be used there.

“Good governance is most important to get right people at the right places. I have plans to start consultations with all stakeholders and all sections of the society to reach out to the people of J&K,” he said.

Describing his resignation as a small act of defiance, Faesal said the decision was in protest against lack of initiation to assuage the hurt feelings of the people of Kashmir from the Centre, escalation of violence in the Valley, failure of the government to facilitate the homecoming of migrant Kashmiri Pandits and growing differences between the regions of the state.

“As of now, I have no plans to join any party. I have worked with the system for eight years and will find ways from the system. Hurriyat does not give that opportunity and they do not believe in electoral politics,” he said.

Faesal, who has been in the limelight since becoming the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam in 2009, announced his resignation on January 9 through social media to protest the “unabated” killings in Kashmir and the marginalisation of Indian Muslims.

In a brief statement on Facebook, the 35-year-old, who belongs to 2010 batch of the IAS, said his resignation was also to protest “the marginalisation and invisiblisation of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of the state and growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism”.

Faesal, an MBBS degree holder, is likely to join the National Conference and may contest the Lok Sabha elections from Baramulla parliamentary seat, political sources said.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said his resignation was a loss of bureaucracy and gain of politics.

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also welcomed Faesel’s resignation.

“Welcome the stand to resign by @ShahFaesal to protest unabated killing of Kashmiris by GOI.”

“Hope his outrage over killings and his sentiment that #KashmiriLivesMatter guide his choice of politics and gets reflected in representing his people’s collective deep driving desire of right to self-determination and their relentless struggle and sacrifice in achieving it - also the reason behind killings and repression on them by the state,” the Hurriyat leader had said in his tweet. —With PTI

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