Shah Faesal returns, appointed deputy secretary in Ministry of Culture
Shah Faesal, a Kashmiri Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who resigned from the bureaucracy in 2019 to launch his political party only to leave politics later, has been appointed deputy secretary in the Culture Ministry. According to reports, the Centre approved his appointment to the ministry on Thursday. On April 29, Faesal was reinstated to the IAS after clearance from the Union Home Ministry.
- In 2019, Faesal formed his own party—the Jammu & Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM).
- He was among several politicians taken into preventive detention ahead of the Centre's revocation of Article 370 in August 2019.
- Following six months in preventive detention, Faesal was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) for allegedly encouraging soft separatism; PSA charges were revoked after four months.
- He quit JKPM in 2020.
Notably, Faesal's resignation was never accepted by the government, and he later rescinded it. In a series of tweets in April, Faesal hinted at his reinstatement, saying he was "excited to start all over again." Faesal, a doctor-turned-bureaucrat, served in a variety of capacities in the state, most lately as the Managing Director of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC).
In April, Faesal hinted at making a comeback to the IAS by reportedly stating that the eight months spent in politics created "so much baggage" for him. "While chasing a chimera, I lost almost everything that I had built over the years. Job. Friends. Reputation. Public goodwill. But I never lost hope. My idealism had let me down," he said in a tweet.
"It is always worth giving ourselves another chance. 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," Faesal stated in April in another tweet.
While launching the JKPM in March 2019, Faesal cited the then Pakistani PM Imran Khan as an inspiration. "History is witness to the fact that whenever a new idea or a new revolution materializes, it is first dismissed," he said at the time. He had stated his party would bring "new politics" to a region that had seen "betrayals" over the last 70 years.
Faesal hails from the hamlet of Sogam in the district of Kupwara in North Kashmir. He shot to fame in 2010 when he became the first Kashmiri to top the UPSC Civil Services Examination. He was a qualified doctor before qualifying for the IAS. Later, he was assigned to the J&K cadre and went on to serve the erstwhile state in numerous capacities.