Former IAS officer and founder of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Movement (JKPM) Shah Faesal Sunday said his outfit would be the biggest platform for the youth, but will keep its doors open for politicians having "unblemished record".
Shah Faesal, along with other senior party leaders including former PDP minister Javaid Mustafa Mir, reached winter capital Jammu on a three-day visit Saturday to garner support and inform the people about the vision of the party which was launched in Srinagar on March 21.
"We have talked to the people of Kashmir and have come here with a message of brotherhood, collectivity and to meet future and present leadership. It is a new political experiment where we talk about giving justice to the people of all the regions without any consideration for the region, colour, creed and caste," Shah Faesal told reporters after addressing a gathering.
A man among the audience tried to interrupt Mir's speech earlier and raised the issue of his welcome into the party fold.
"Why he (Mir) was taken into the party fold when you are speaking of new thinking and the party being an alternative to the traditional political parties," the man, hailing from Doda, was heard saying, leading to a brief exchange of words between him and Mr Mir.
Responding to a question related to the issue raised by the man, Shah Faesal said, "It is good that young people are linking with us, but we need experienced persons as well."
"Politics is not a child's play which you run like a school. It needs experienced persons like Mir who had an unblemished record during his 20 years of political career. Nobody ever raised question about his integrity and we are proud that he decided to join hands with us," he said.
Mr Mir, who represented the Chadoora assembly constituency in central Kashmir's Budgam district for three successive terms from 2002, had resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in January this year.
The former IAS officer said every other party would have liked Mr Mir to join them, but he had put everything at stake by joining us.
"The JKPM will be a big platform for the youth but we need experienced hands because this is a challenging state. We will welcome the people who have unblemished record," he said.
Earlier, he briefed the audience about the party's manifesto and questioned the "failure" of successive governments to develop industrial sector and bring investment, lack of state of art health institutions at district level, good roads in hilly areas.
"Jammu is a peaceful region and one fails to understand why it was not developed as an industrial hub of the state. Our youth are forced to go outside to look for jobs and we are able to bring in investment, there is no need for the youth to go outside," he said.
He also raised the issue of political reservation to the minority communities like Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and Christians and said "we would also like to set up planning board to ensure development of underdeveloped areas on a fast track basis with no interference from the political establishment and reorganising of recruitment agencies to ensure transparency."
Shah Faesal also talked about the Kashmir issue and said "we have to understand the people, talk to them and work to bridge the gap and maintain unity as we all are brothers".
He termed corruption as a "serious issue" and said transparency and good governance can address the problem.
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