Former Kashmiri bureaucrat Shah Faesal today said his party Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement will not contest national elections to make it clear that he wants to "bring a change" and not "run for power".
In a Facebook post, the ex-bureaucrat said he took the "difficult decision" in the "interest of the people" of Jammu and Kashmir.
He listed four reasons for skipping the parliamentary elections and urged the people to vote in large numbers. "You must vote for the right candidate and if you don't find any good candidate, then please vote for NOTA. But vote you must," he stressed.
Mr Faesal, who had quit his government service two months ago in protest against "unabated killings in Kashmir", today said he wanted to focus on public contact programme through his political party.
"We have to bring Kashmiris Dogras, Laddakhis, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Paharis, Gujjars ,everyone together and fight this battle," he wrote.
Mr Faesal launched his party on Sunday at an event in Srinagar, along with with activist Shehla Rashid, two months after he quit government service in protest against "unabated killings in Kashmir".
At the launch of his party , Mr Faesal, in an apparent reference to Kashmiriyat, said the objective of the party was to rebuild Jammu and Kashmir "as an inclusive pluralistic society with religious, ethnic, linguistic, and geographical diversity". The term "Kashmiriyat" signifies the centuries-old harmonious co-existence of people from different cultures and ethnicities in the valley.
Referring to the current situation in Kashmir, Mr Faesal on Sunday had said the lives in Kashmir cannot be changed by providing better infrastructure. "I have understood that as long as the youth in Kashmir live in a state of constant fear, and as long as our mothers and sisters face the prospect of losing their dignity and dear ones, nothing will work here," he was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.