The Ministry of Home Affairs has reinstated Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS officer who resigned from his service in 2019 to enter politics. The government never accepted Faesal’s resignation, and officials from the Union Home Ministry confirmed to The Indian Express on Thursday that he had been reinstated in the service.
In a tweet made on April 27, Shah Faesal made a hint that he is joining the IAS once again. In the tweet, he wrote, “…A part of me is exhausted with the memory of those 8 months and wants to erase that legacy. Much of it is already gone. Time will mop off the rest In believe.”
“I turn 39 next month. And I’m really excited to start all over again,” he added.
Just thought of sharing that life is beautiful. It is always worth giving ourselves another chance.— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) April 27, 2022
Setbacks make us stronger.
And there is an amazing world beyond the shadows of the past.
I turn 39 next month. And I’m really excited to start all over again. 3/3
Shah Faesal, from Sogam in North Kashmir, rose to attention in 2010 when he became the first Kashmiri to pass the civil services exam and become an IAS. Faesal, a doctor by education, topped the UPSC examinations, grabbing national attention because he came from a terror-hit distant location and his father was murdered by terrorists. Before attending Harvard University in the United States for further studies, Shah Faesal was the managing director of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC).
Joined politics in 2019
After resigning from the IAS, Faesal founded his political party, the “Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement” in March 2019. Faesal said that his decision to leave the service was prompted by the “unabated” deaths of Muslims in Kashmir and across India by “Hindutva” forces. He contended that the absence of any political initiative to restore normalcy back to the Kashmir valley had motivated him to leave the administrative services.
Former JNU Student and freelance protestor Shehla Rashid had also joined the party launched by Shah Faesal.
Questioned abrogation of Article 370
In August 2014, Shah Faesal was detained at the Delhi Airport in August 2019 when he was reportedly on his way to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to file a case against India for the abrogation of Article 370. He was scheduled to go to Turkey and then to the International Court of Justice in Hague, Netherlands, to file a complaint against India. He was deported to Kashmir after being detained.
In a statement to the BBC, Faesal said that another generation of Kashmiris had been “betrayed by India,” and that this will lead to unrest in the valley, implying that the removal of Article 370 will lead to another round of terrorism in the valley, similar to 1988.
Detention under the Public Safety Act
Shah Faesal was detained in February 2020 under the Public Safety Act. The PSA was slapped on him while he was still in detention in August 2019. He was detained and returned to Srinagar when he was about to depart for Turkey on August 14, 2019. The Jammu and Kashmir administration then stated that Faesal, upon his arrival in Srinagar, addressed the people and incited them “against the sovereignty and integrity of India,” raising the possibility of a disruption of peace.
In August 2020, Faesal stepped down as president of his political party. Then arouse rumours that he was supposed to join the civil services again as his resignation was not accepted yet. Later, in October 2021, there were rumours that Faesal would be appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir’s adviser. However, OpIndia verified that these assertions were untrue. Faesal has since then not been actively reported in the media.
Shah Faesal had also praised the Prime Minister’s vaccine diplomacy. He had said, “This is more than just a vaccination program. It’s good governance + human capital formation + nation-building + India assuming global leadership as a Jagat Guru (The Guru of the World).”
Upon his statement, Islamists had accused him of betraying Kashmiris and of ‘bootlicking.’ They had also referred to him as ‘Sanghi,’ and had hurled a slew of other insults at him.