Srinagar: Former IAS officer Shah Faesal on Monday said India and Pakistan should hold dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue as it was a political issue that cannot be ended by development packages.
“When the politicians are asked what is the issue, they say ‘Kashmir is a problem. Give them monetary packages’. Some portion of the 2004 package is yet to be spent. Do we only need money? Is Kashmiri a beggar?
“We want to tell them that Kashmir is a political problem,” he said.
Advocating dialogue, Faesal said India and Pakistan should sit together to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“They should not play with the lives of Kashmiri people by throwing money around,” he said.
Faesal, who resigned from the government service last month, was addressing his maiden public rally in his home district of Kupwara in north Kashmir, 100 kilometres from here.
He said the situation in Kashmir over the past few years forced him to be the voice of the unheard people.
“While I raised my voice against atrocities being committed on different minorities in the country, the situation in Kashmir over the past few years forced me raise my voice. We saw our PhD scholars were martyred, there is no one to talk about the educated youth.
“Politicians are holding to their chair and minting money whilc Kashmiris are making sacrifices for their political rights. There is no one taking note of this,” he said.
The former IAS officer likened his tenure in the IAS to a jail term.
“To tell you honestly, I spent the last 10 years in a jail. 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.
“I was looking for an avenue where I could talk for the people of Kashmir and also work for their betterment,” he said.
Faesal, who recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for his political initiative, said the atmosphere of corruption in the state was sucking blood of everyone.
He also claimed that the political scenario in the state was coming in its way of being self-reliant.
“I was head of the power department. A company offered Rs 13,000 crore loan for exploiting the hydroelectric potential of the state but the political situation of our state is such that we are not being allowed to be self-reliant in terms of our economy,” he said.