M Aamir Khan
Tribune News Service
Srinagar, March 17
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal today launched a new party — Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement — with a promise to bring “winds of change” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amid chanting of slogan “Ab hawa badlegee”, the party was launched at a football ground here with traditional “izband sozi” (burning of rue seeds) and recitation of Quranic verses.
Wearing a pathan-suit and blazer, Faesal shared the stage with student leader Shehla Rashid Shora, businessman Baldev Singh Raina and Ashok Kumar (Kashmir Pandit), among others.
Faesal tried to send a signal that the party was for all — women, youth, Muslims, Pandits, Sikhs and neglected communities of far-flung regions of the state “ignored” by previous governments.
The 2010-batch UPSC topper also promised to be the “voice to bridge” the gap between India and Pakistan while trying to draw parallels with Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
“The intention is to give new politics to the state that has seen only miseries for the last 70 years. This party is not region or religion-specific. People from Jammu, Ladakh or Rajouri-Poonch are my brothers. I want to send them a message of friendship. Our politics is incomplete without the dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits. Attempts are being made to divide our state. An ideology is trying to pitch Muslims against Hindus and Muslims against Buddhists, Kashmir against Jammu and Jammu against Pir Panjal. Our fundamental politics is humanitarian. We will not accept this division,” he said, while addressing a crowd of around 2,000 persons.
Asserting that the party would pursue a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, Faesal said: “I want to make it clear that the solution to the Kashmir issue finally is an issue between two nations. I do not say there will be an overnight miracle. The road ahead is long and we can facilitate and become a voice to bridge the gap between the two countries as well as between Delhi and Srinagar.”
“We want to leverage the geo-strategic position of J&K to make it the gateway to Central Asia.... a ‘look-up-North’ centre for the sub-continent. The party shall work towards reviving the centrality of Jammu and Kashmir to the ancient Silk Route civilisation so that Jammu and Kashmir can re-emerge as a corridor of peace between various South Asian neighbours,” he added.
Faesal pointed to the “struggles” of Khan and Kejriwal and how they were rejected initially. “I regularly cite examples of Kejriwal and Imran Khan because they have struggled a lot for many years, but never let their faith waver. Khan won the election after 22 years, but many people still say he is the military’s man. History is witness that whenever there is a new idea, a revolution, first it is rejected, then there are conspiracies against it and then a war against it,” he said.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Mahajan pips Singhvi in draw of lots post tie | 6 Congress M...
Congress brass takes stock of situation
BJP wins 8 out of 10 in Uttar Pradesh