Shah Faesal quits politics

File Photo of Shah Faesal

A year after joining politics and launching a political party, Shah Faesal on Monday announced to “discontinue” his political activities.

The bureaucrat turned politician, Faesal was touted as “big wig” in Kashmir’s politics after he launched “J&K Peoples Movement” last year with the slogan “Hawa Badleegi” (the wind will change).

In a statement, the spokesman of J&K Peoples Movement said: “…request of Dr. Shah Faesal to spare him from the organizational responsibilities was discussed. Dr Shah Faesal had informed state executive members that he is not in a position to continue with political activities and wants to be freed from the responsibilities of the organization”.

It added: “…it was decided to accept his request so that he can better continue with his life and contribute whichever way he chooses”.

The party meanwhile named Feroze Peerzada as its new president until formal elections for the post are held. The statement also said that the resignation of party’s chairman Javed Mustafa Mir was also accepted.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, JKPM’s new president Feroze Peerzada said: “For one month we have been continuously trying our

level best to convince Shah Faesal to continue as party chief. We have been in touch through phone and zoom meetings. However, he was adamant and firm to get dissociated himself from the day to day politics”.

Earlier, on Sunday, Faesal had omitted his designation as the party’s president from microblogging site—Twitter, giving rise to speculations that he may again join bureaucracy.

“Edward S Fellow @HKS Harvard University.Medico. Fullbright. Centrist,” reads his changed bio on micro-blogging site, Twitter.

However, sources close to Faesal termed his joining back bureaucracy for now as “rumour”.

“He has been approached to join back as bureaucrat. For now he is listening to and weighing his options. He has not said anything as of now. He is under house arrest. Things will be clear within a week’s time,” said a close aide of Faesal.

On August 5 last year, post abrogation of J&K’s special status and subsequent bifurcation into two Union Territories, Faesal was among the mainstream politicians including two former chief ministers and sitting Parliamentarian Farooq Abdullah who were put under detention.

In June this year after revocation of his PSA detention and subsequent release, the IAS topper-turned-politician was put under house arrest at J-5 quarters in Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar area, where he continues to remain.

Interestingly, J-5 has been the official residence of Faesal from his bureaucratic days, before he ventured into politics.

On 14 August 2019, Faesal was prevented from boarding an international flight to Turkey’s Istanbul from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi’s International Airport. Subsequently, he was then flown back to Srinagar and placed under detention at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Center (SKICC) along the famous Dal lake, from where he was later shifted to MLA hostel at MA Road here.

After spending six months under “preventive detention”, PSA was slapped on Faesal in February this year, charging him with advocating “soft separatism” through his articles, tweets and social media posts, which on several occasions, as per his PSA dossier, attracted response amounting to “a potential threat to public order”.