Former IAS officer Shah Faesal has ruled out the possibility of joining any existing mainstream political party, and said that he draws inspiration from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Faesal, who addressed the media to share his future course of action on Friday, said: "As of now, I do not have any plans to join any existing mainstream party," adding that his resignation was a "small act of defiance" to remind the Centre of its duties towards Kashmiris.
On being asked about his political beliefs and ideology, Faesal said, "Honestly speaking I am deeply inspired by Imran Khan and Arvind Kejriwal. But we know that we are operating in a conflict zone and it's not very easy for us to work in that space. Space which has lost legitimacy in the last few years. I wish if the youngsters of the state give me that kind of opportunity I would be very happy to do a retake of Imran Khan and Kejriwal in the state."
Furthermore, Faesal said he wishes to work with people at the grassroots level and "reimagine the politics in Kashmir", and also expressed keenness in contesting the upcoming assembly and parliamentary polls.
"I will listen to the youngsters and meet the important stakeholders of the Valley or the state. I wish to use the Parliament as the source of connection and engagement for bringing solutions for our place," he added.
Dismissing the possibility of joining the separatist Hurriyat Conference, the former IAS officer said: "I am a man from the system and I would be happy to use my skills to change things by being in the system. Hurriyat doesn't give me that opportunity very rightly as they don't believe in electoral politics."
Faesal quit government service on January 9, saying he was protesting against the "unabated killings" in Kashmir and "lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government."
The former IAS officer alleged "insidious attacks on the special identity of the Jammu and Kashmir and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism."
35-year-old Faesal is the first person from Kashmir to top the civil services examination. He had served in various posts, including those of director of education and deputy commissioner. (ANI)