Srinagar: Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal on Sunday launched a new political party — the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement — in the summer capital, Srinagar.
Shah Faesal, a topper of 2010 batch of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services examination, resigned in December 2018 over the issue of daily ‘killings’ in the Kashmir valley and other issues.
Student activist Shehla Rashid was among many people, who joined the party on Sunday.
“I have not come here to engage in traditional politics or regional politics… my party shall pursue peaceful resolution of Kashmir problem as per the will and aspiration of the people of Jammu and Kashmir state,” Faesal said while addressing a gathering at Football Ground, Gindun Park in Raj Bagh, Srinagar on Sunday.
Hitting out at critics, Faesal said senior politicians, who were requesting him to join his party after he resigned, are now accusing him of being an agent of centre and BJP. “When I resigned from civil services, all leading political parties approached me and asked me to join them. Now, when they realized I won’t them, they are accusing me of being an agent,” he said.
Asserting that resigning from civil services was very easy, he said it was the decision what to do next, that was very difficult. “Initially thought I would join one of the parties… but after I resigned, the resentment which I saw in the eyes of people about me joining one of the parties opened by eyes… it was then I decided to launch a new party with like-minded people,” he said.
Mr Faesal said that the party shall work towards reviving the centrality of Jammu and Kashmir State to the ancient Silk Route civilization so that Jammu and Kashmir can reemerge as a corridor of peace between various South Asian neighbors.
He said the part will represent all sections of society, including minorities — Kashmiri Pandits, Christians, Sikhs and Dogras of Jammu.
Meanwhile, a vision document was launched before floating the party. 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”.
“The party shall work for the upliftment of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities in the State and work for the peaceful and dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland. The party shall protect the special status of the State as per the existing Constitutional arrangement,” it said.
It added that it will seek “adequate political representation for under-represented communities like Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Kashmiri Pandits”. The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement also promised to revive neglected traditions like Dogra community art, Buddhist heritage and other folk traditions.
“The party shall focus on job creation to end the unemployment of educated people, skill development of youth and ensure transparency in the recruitment process,” the document added. It said that the party will ensure equitable development of all regions in the state.
“The party shall promote a culture of tolerance and people to people contact between people of Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country,” the manifesto said, adding “The party shall seek to build an environment of justice and reconciliation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by addressing the aspirations of all regions and communities.”
It said it will campaign against the “evil influence of money power and muscle power in the democratic process”. “The party is committed to the task of building a developed democratic Jammu and Kashmir state based on principles of equal opportunity to all citizens,” it added.