Former Indian Administrative Service officer Shah Faesal on Monday said India and Pakistan should engage in dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute. He said it was not a political problem that can be solved through development packages, reported Rising Kashmir.

Faesal was addressing a public rally in his home district Kupwara in North Kashmir. Faesal had resigned on January 9 in protest against the “unabated killings in Kashmir” and the lack of initiative from the Centre. He ruled out joining a political party but launched a campaign to support a movement for “clean politics”.

“When politicians are asked what is the issue, they say Kashmir is a problem. Give them monetary packages,” Faesal said. “Do we only need money? Is the Kashmiri a beggar? We want to tell them that Kashmir is a political problem. They should not play with the lives of Kashmiri people by throwing money around.”

Faesal said the situation in the Valley in the past few years had forced him to be the voice of the unheard people. “Politicians are holding to their chair and minting money, while Kashmiris are making sacrifices for their political rights,” he said, adding that there was no one taking note of the sacrifices.

The former bureaucrat also likened his tenure in the Indian Administrative Service to time spent in jail. “To tell you honestly, I spent the last 10 years in a jail,” he said. “During these 10 years, in many ways I tried to serve my people and succeeded as well. But what I saw in these 10 years, despite being a senior government officer, the fire in my heart, the atrocities and injustices I saw, I used to feel helpless.”

Faesal said he was “looking for an avenue” where he could speak for the people and work for them. “I chose to end a barrier between an officer and public and from now onwards I will be with my people going from village to village,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Faesal said he imagined politics where youth can lead the change. “I wish to partner with a new generation of young leaders who can stand up for human rights, environment, free speech and rule of law,” he said.