Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS officer who quit the coveted all-India service to join politics, said on Friday he would not join the separatist Hurriyat Conference.
Addressing a media conference in Srinagar, Faesal said, “I am a man from the system and would be happy to change the system by remaining in it.
“Since the Hurriyat does not subscribe to electoral politics, there is little scope for me to put my administrative skill and experience into practice by joining the Hurriyat,” said Faesal.
He said recent developments such as efforts to undermine the special status of the state, the growing lynch-mob politics outside the state, efforts to shrink space for ideological and religious minorities, the culture to undermine institutions such as the CBI and the NIA, had become something he could not stand.
“Since the service conduct rules do not permit a civil servant to freely voice his feelings, this became choking for me. Today, as I voice my feelings publicly, I feel greatly relieved,” he said.
When asked if he has decided to join the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference, he said it was premature to say that since he would go back to the grassroots and seek ideas as to the best course he should adopt while joining electoral politics.
“Due to recent developments, the importance of electoral politics has been undermined. I strongly believe that electoral politics is the best means to resolving the issues facing the people of the Valley, Jammu, Ladakh and the Chenab Valley which are important constituents of the state.
“I shall be visiting all these places to seek people’s views on my future course,” said Faesal.
“Yes, I have decided to fight parliamentary elections, but with which party or as an independent candidate remains yet to be decided”, he said.
Asked why he cannot float his own party like Imran Khan and Arvind Kejriwal, Faesal said, “I am greatly influenced by the examples set by Imran Khan and Kejriwal, but as you know, we are living in a conflict zone and anybody trying to come forward with a separate party is branded as an agent of the agencies”.
The first ever Kashmiri to do so, Faesal topped the 2009 civil service exams after which he was allotted the home cadre J&K.
He recently returned from America after getting his Fulbright fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School.
He had recently tweeted that unabated killings in Kashmir and the lack of any political initiative by the government have forced him to resign his job.
Reports here said he met NC Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, and that in all likelihood he would be joining the NC in the coming days.
Same reports said the party would field him as its candidate from north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency.