Former Indian Administrative Service officer Shah Faesal on Sunday launched a political party, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement. The party released a vision document before its launch. Activist Shehla Rashid was among the people who joined the party on Sunday.
The vision document said the party will pursue a “peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem as per the will and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. The manifesto said the party will attempt to bring about “sustainable peace” in the state by “making the people politically empowered, economically prosperous, socially emancipated, ethically evolved, culturally enlightened and environmentally conscious”.
The party’s slogan is “hawa badlegi” (winds of time will change), IANS reported. “I believed that by providing roads, electricity and safe drinking water, we could change the lives of the people,” Faesal said. “But I have understood that as long as the youth in Kashmir live in a state of constant fear, as long as our mothers and sisters face the prospect of losing their dignity and dear ones, nothing will work here.”
Faesal said Kashmiri politicians were living in a state of mental siege and slavery. “This all-pervading mentality of siege has to go,” he said.
“It is natural for many to discredit a new idea and understate a revolution, when they see one in the making,” he added. “Some say we are agents of the army. I am ready to face all criticism, but our pursuit to usher in a new tomorrow will continue undeterred.”
The party said it will seek to protect the special status granted to the state under the Indian Constitution. It added that it will seek “adequate political representation for under-represented communities like Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Kashmiri Pandits”. The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement also promised to revive neglected traditions like Dogra community art, Buddhist heritage and other folk traditions.
“The party shall focus on job creation to end the unemployment of educated people, skill development of youth and ensure transparency in the recruitment process,” the document added. It also said that the party will ensure equitable development of all regions in the state.
“The party shall promote a culture of tolerance and people to people contact between people of Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country,” the manifesto said. “The party shall seek to build an environment of justice and reconciliation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by addressing the aspirations of all regions and communities.”
The party said it will campaign against the “evil influence of money power and muscle power in the democratic process”. “The party is committed to the task of building a developed democratic Jammu and Kashmir state based on principles of equal opportunity to all citizens,” it added.
Faesal had on Saturday announced on Twitter that the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement will be launched at 11 am on Sunday. But the launch was delayed by several hours.