Dr. Shah Faesal born 17 May 1983  is a former  civil servant from Jammu and Kashmir. He has a very dynamic caliber .In 2009, he became the first Kashmiri to top the Indian Civil Services Examination and the first candidate from Kashmir in several years to be selected to the Indian Administrative Service through open merit. He resigned from IAS on 9th January 2019 citing unabated killings in Kashmir.


As a matter of fact, He was the first Kashmiri to top the Indian Civil Services Examination in 2009. He holds an MBBS degree from Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences’SKIMS, Srinagar.


In an exclusive interview with News Kashmir, he talks to Farzana Mumtaz and Rameez Makhdoomi.






You have stated that your resigning was result of unabated killings and bloodshed in Kashmir, when you topped IAS and became officer in 2009 at that time too killings were happening why not resignation then but now ?


First of all when you enter the system you entered it to deliver, and to understand and learn things. One does not enter system for resignation. The situation post 2013-14 especially  the new wave of eruption in 2016 pained me , and then I started rethinking that should I continue or not in service and speak about the things around and finally as you know resignation happens once in life not every time .


After your resignations the speculations are ripe that you are likely joining the National conference ?


I have not had the belief to choose easy paths in life. If choosing easy paths in life was my priority then I would not have resigned from job and secondly joined some established party to enjoy good post as per speculations in social media . I have made it clear that I am not joining any existing political party which has laid all speculations to rest .


What is your next step there is lot of curiosity about that ?


I have made it clear and requested masses  that I was out of country for some years and also in civil services some years and accordingly it is a must for me to know the ground sentiment. After my resignation a sea of people  especially the youth of Kashmir want to associate with me and to come out of this situation is not easy and had I been  just after power you would have seen me in campaigning for some Party .It is heartening that youth who has never interacted with system is coming to me and I want to engage with my people and youth . I am not after  MP or MLA position but I have made it clear I with my youth want to see if we can occupy the democratic space which is mostly currently held by corrupt lot . I am not after power grabbing but a long view to take careful decisions and get clean mandate not get such people elected who harm more our nation . The initiative which I envisage is long term and it can take even five or ten years but taking my peoples aspirations into count is must.


Politics is sometimes also about making your own decisions would you  entirely depend of feedback from people ?


My decisions are my decisions. Basically I am not the tradition politician who have degraded politics to crooked nature as I respect my people views and sentiments and cannot overlook them and take their feedback very serious. Ultimately I agree leader has to make his decisions as well .


Wouldn’t your leaving civil services leave the notion that civil services are  powerless  in nature  ?


No not at all civil services would not lose sheen. I have made it clear that I am  leaving civil services under constrains and there are burning problems which need immediate solutions that is why I have entered politics .


How would you balance between pro boycott youth and pro election ?


I agree it is a tough task and my thrust is to negotiate in between this space.  I would not take any step that disregards my peoples sentiments , I won’t show eagerness to immediately join electoral politics and take such steps that is seen as dishonoring the sacrifices and emotions of my people . I am ready to tread a long path .


You have talked of Imran Khan and Kejriwal but they have succeeded in free societies but ours is conflict ridden, don’t you think it is wrong analogy to compare them with Kashmir ?


We are not society or culture of slaves. When I talk about Imran khan and Arvind kejriwal I mean we too can create successful public movements .I appreciate their three methodologies , firstly they sacrificed a lot and secondly failed a lot and thirdly struggled a lot . It does not matter to me where did they achieve these things but methodologies matter to me.


Your resignations has lead to wave of resignations by other officer in favour of joining politics  How do you see it ?


I see it as a very positive development We have seen politics as a dirty thing and if good people want to join it then it is great development.


Your message to people ?


We have to learn trusting people despite having seen series of debacles  and betrayals. We cannot be at standstill and stagnant position which will offer no solution to huge bloodshed .We have to give new and honest voices a chance .


How do you see issue of youth killing in Kashmir ?


Youth annihilation is issue of entire Kashmir..The central government has to shun rigidity and I have tried to bring to their notice to this burning issue. We will have to talk with Government of India and have to make them sensitive about raging fires in Kashmir .


Many suggested  you to join hurriyat , your take ?


Joining Hurriyat is not easy task and you are imprisoned immediately . It is not in everyone’s mental strength to join Hurriyat and I agree I have taken a easier route as opposed to it .