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Shah Faesal wants to make new start; govt welcoming, citizens sceptical

The administration is all set to welcome back Shah Faesal, the IAS officer who left the civil service because India, according to him, had turned intolerant

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Former IAS officer Shah Faesal — who became the first Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) topper from Jammu and Kashmir in 2009 but resigned from service in January 2019 citing “rising intolerance” in the country — took tweeted on 27 April, to hint at his possible return to government service. According to sources in the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the general administration department (GAD) has initiated Faesal’s re-induction process.

Shah Faesal has not yet been given a post and is awaiting orders.

In a series of tweets in the night, Faesal said that his idealism “let him down” and that he was really excited to start “all over again”.

“Eight months of my life (Jan 2019-Aug 2019) created so much baggage that I was almost finished. While chasing a chimaera, 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 tweeted.

What Shah Faesal believed in — a 2019 video. Is the government sure he has abandoned this belief?

Faesal said: “But I had faith in myself. That I would undo the mistakes I had made. That life would give me another chance. A part of me is exhausted with the memory of those 8 months and wants to erase that legacy. Much of it is already gone. Time will mop off the rest In believe (sic).”

“Just thought of sharing that life is beautiful. 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,” he tweeted.

The former IAS officer said that it was always worth giving yourself “another chance”. He, however, did not specify what the other chance was. He has not clarified after saying that he suffered because of his “idealism”, whether Jammu and Kashmir’s separation from India is still his ideal. But his Twitter timeline does show, of late, a few retweets of tweets by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. A sample:

There is a retweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif too.

Earlier, in January, he also expressed sorrow about the religious cleansing of the Hindus of Kashmir in the 1990s by whom the Pandits allege to be local Muslims as much as Pakistan-based terrorists — while not using these words to express the sentiment. He has pinned this tweet on his Twitter timeline.

Though Faesal resigned from the civil services in January 2019, his resignation had reportedly not been accepted by the government, allegedly pending an investigation into some of his social media posts. Government officials had said at the time that the non-acceptance of his resignation has kept the door open for his return to his position.

What’s so special about Shah Faesal?

Meanwhile, people are not too upbeat about Shah Faesal’s return to the bureaucracy. They have been voicing their concern on social media. A Facebook post reads (translated from Hindi): “Shah Faesal, who gave open moral support to separatism as an IAS, resigned from the IAS in January 2019 and formed a political party with a clear inclination towards Kashmir’s autonomy and separatism, is now openly going to take the post of senior IAS again. In the year 2010, Shah Faesal was the first such candidate from the valley who, despite being a doctor, became successful and topper in the IAS through the Urdu language.

“He met (then-Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh immediately after the IAS exam results. An ordinary citizen rarely gets to meet the prime minister. He lived in militancy-affected areas like Pulwama and Bandipora, but his outlook on separatism was sympathetic. He often did not hesitate to express such feelings.

“In 2018, the union government sent him to the US for a fellowship at the Kennedy School for 10 months, but after returning from this lavish training, he resigned from the IAS. Under mysterious circumstances, the ‘nationalist’ government did not accept his resignation.

Editor’s note: The claim in the quote above is misleading. Shah Faesal was stopped at the airport because he did not have a student visa. Click on the hyperlinked words in the paragraph above to know what exactly transpired when he tried to leave the country.

“Shah Faesal also formed a political party and became its head. On the night of 14 August 2019, he was arrested and put in jail while going to Turkey quietly, although on paper he was still an IAS at that time.

“A person who is an open supporter of separatism, tweets anti-India, tweets in praise of Imran Khan, forms a pro-separatist party, has been in jail for a whole year, what is the compulsion that our government should again make such a person very senior And going to give a very important post? The question is why the government repeatedly refused to accept his resignation for three and a half years. Why was the resignation not accepted when in the same period of three years when 11 other IAS officers resigned and all the resignations were accepted immediately? What is so special about Shah Faesal?” the Facebook post by Pawan Saxena concludes.

A few respondents doubted the veracity of the claims made in the post but their misgivings were addressed by others. Interestingly, the BJP was critical of the IAS officer-turned-politician, thereby raising the question of who is welcoming him back to the sensitive system of the highest rung of Indian bureaucracy.

Sirf News wanted to make sure that the allegations are correct and, therefore, hyperlinked the claims to news from both internal and external sources.

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