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Apni Party will strive for restoration of J&K’s statehood

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Won’t lie or make false promises about restoration of Article 370, 35-A: Bukhari

Syed Altaf Bukhar waving to his Apni Party supporters during a rally in Srinagar Tuesday. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: Reiterating his party’s resolve to strive for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, Apni Party president Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Tuesday said people here were completely disempowered when their State was converted into a Union Territory.

“This was a black day for all of us. So the Apni Party stands committed to strive for empowerment of people through restoration of statehood,” he remarked.

He also said though Apni Party is not averse to the demands for restoration of J&K’s special status, it will neither lie nor make false promises to the people of J&K on the mode of achieving these goals.

Addressing the party convention at Sher-e-Kashmir Park in Srinagar, Bukhari claimed that it was his party which got the domicile law modified resulting into protection of all the categories of government jobs for the youth of J&K.

“Similarly, we have already expressed our reservations with regard to the domicile law on land. We will not sit as mute spectators like our political opponents, and we will pursue complete protection of land rights for the domiciles of J&K,” he added.

Training guns at other regional parties including the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) without naming any of them, Bukhari said that the existing political parties in J&K have always hoodwinked the people by showing them false dreams for their electoral gains.

“Our local political parties presume to have inherited the J&K electorate — from one generation to another,” he said.

He said these political parties “who used to coin and sell dreams like ‘autonomy’, ‘self-rule’, ‘dual currency’, ‘special economic zones’, ‘joint legislative assembly’ and ‘achievable nationhood’ have now forged an alliance to make themselves relevant among the people.”

“Aren’t these political parties the ones who claimed to stop BJP from entering J&K, and later joined hands with it?” Bukhari asked.

He also dared the political leaders who called on the Prime Minister and Home Minister before abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A  to reveal as to what had transpired during that meeting.

With regard to restoration of Article 370 and 35-A, Bukhari said that his party has reiterated its stand time and again in public that it is not averse to this demand but it will “never lie or make false promises to the people of J&K on the mode of achieving these goals”.

Trying to strike sympathy with the people of Srinagar, Bukhari said that the Srinagar city was always neglected by the successive governments who have ruled J&K for decades.

He said that Srinagar city faces extreme economic disparity as compared to cities in the rest of the country. “Besides, lagging behind in other developmental parameters, Srinagar city is facing extreme unemployment. Our small and big traders, hoteliers, houseboat owners, shopkeepers, artisans, shikara walas, street vendors and tour and travel operators are facing the brunt of official apathy which needs to be looked into,” Bukhari added.

He said that Srinagar city should not only become a Smart City but an attractive destination which motivates people for huge investments.

During the convention Bukhari was flanked by senior party leader including Ghulam Hassan Mir, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Muntazir Mohi-u-Din Farooq Andrabi, Javid Hassan Beig, Abdul Rashid Haroon, Jagmohan Singh Raina, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Mayor SMC Junaid Mattu.

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