Former bureaucrat, Shah Faesal on Sunday launched his political party the 'Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement' ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls at Rajbagh’s Gindan park in Srinagar. Claiming support from other parts of the state as well, Faesal said, I had to decide which party to join, and I was about to join one particular party and they gave me a lot of respect. But during that time, I was abused by everyone and today I want to thank all those people. Those abuses helped me start this party, he said. Former JNU student leader and activist Shehla Rashid Shora also joined Faesal’s party. Shehla has been working closely with Faesal over the past few months and was involved in the decision-making process for the inception of the party.
Speaking about the Kashmir issue, Faesal said, “we accept that Kashmir problem needs to be solved according to the wishes of people of Kashmiri people. It’s a long route and we can facilitate. We can bridge the gap between Delhi and Srinagar.”
“This party is not based on religion or region. We are representing everyone. Kashmiri Pandits are an integral part of our society. They need to return to their roots. All the members in my team have all left their careers to join me,” he added.
Faesal has been travelling through different districts in the Valley, meeting and bringing “like-minded individuals” into the fold. The party released a vision document before its launch. The vision document said the party will pursue a “peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem as per the will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. The manifesto said the party will attempt to bring about “sustainable peace” in the state by “making the people politically empowered, economically prosperous, socially emancipated, ethically evolved, culturally enlightened and environmentally conscious”.
Shehla, who was also present on the occasion said, “We will work for development in the valley. I want to make a request to all the women and girls to come and join us. Women have gone through worse in this conflict and we want them to join our party. We also seek support of students. We want to empower the youth of the state. We will work for those students and businessmen who are outside in different parts of the country.”
Shehla emerged as a prominent face after Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested for a February 2016 protest in 2016 against the execution of Afzal Guru.
Faesal has been in the limelight since becoming the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam in 2009. In a brief statement on Facebook, the 35-year-old Faesal, 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".