Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022
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What’s Next For Faesal?

What’s Next For Faesal?
What’s Next For Faesal? -

After a year in detention, the realities of tough-as-nails politics have caught up with bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam in 2009. People found evidence of the turning wheel when on August 9 his Twitter bio was without his political ID: chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement. Is he then returning to bureaucracy? “There is a lot of pressure on him to rejoin the civil services,” says one of his friends. He adds that Faesal is interested in academics—a course at Harvard, perhaps—and wants the Centre to give him back his passport.

Like many politicians detained under the public safety act after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year, Faesal was freed this June, but continues to be in home detention. Sources say he is allowed to travel to Delhi, though. According to his friend, authorities are reluctant to release his passport following rumours that he might form a government-in-exile once he is on foreign soil. “All he wants is to continue his studies,” he says. Faesal’s interest in scholarly pursuits is not new—he enrolled at Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright scholar for a mid-career Masters in Public Administration (MPA) programme in 2018 when he was a bureaucrat. In January 2019, he formed the Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement and quit the civil services. The government didn’t accept his resignation immediately and urged him to return. Former governor Satya Pal Malik has made the appeal repeatedly to Faesal.

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