Former IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal on Monday stepped down from the chairmanship of his party, J&K Peoples Movement (JKPM), saying he was not in a position to continue with political activities and wanted to be freed from the responsibilities of the organisation.
Faesal's decision comes amid rumours that he might join back government services.
“Our party held a meeting today. In the said meeting, the request of Dr. Shah Faesal to spare him from the organisational 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 organisation,” said a statement issued by JKPM. “Keeping in view this request, it was decided to accept his request so that he can better continue with his life and contribute whichever way he chooses,” the statement read, indicating that the former IAS officer has left the party.
“It was further unanimously decided to appoint current vice president Feroze Peerzada as President for the party in the interim till formal elections can be held for the post of President,” the statement added. “The Committee also accepted the resignation of Chairman Javed Mustafa Mir and accorded farewell to him. Javed Mustafa Mir a veteran political figure of the J&K has been under house arrest since August 5, 2019,” the statement added.
The 2010 IAS topper got enrolled in the Mid-Career MPA programme at Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright Scholar in 2018. Later on his return to J&K, he quit civil services and launched a political party, Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement, in Jan 2019. The government, however, didn’t accept his resignation. On August 5, 2019, when the BJP government revoked article 370 amid communication blockade, siege, and arrests of thousands of people, Faesal expressed his resentment. He was arrested after his interview with the BBC in which he said, “The abrogation of Article 370 has finished the mainstream. Constitutionalists are gone. So you can either be a stooge or a separatist now. No shades of grey.”
He was detained from Delhi airport when he was on his way to the US to complete the last semester of his MPA programme. He was detained in J&K under the Public Safety Act (PSA). On May 13, 2020, his detention was extended again for another three months. However, in June he was released and placed under house arrest.
After his arrest in August 2019, Faesal challenged his detention in Delhi High Court but he soon withdrew it. Before the withdrawal of the petition, the high court had said, "We are disposing of this petition, but Faesal's lawyer is free to revert to the court for any further legal help.” Sources say under pressure from the government he had withdrawn his petition.