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Statehood will be restored to J&K soon after assembly elections: Amit Shah assures AP leaders 

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Srinagar: Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday evening led a high-level party delegation to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Rajbhawan in Srinagar. 

The delegation gave Home Minister a memorandum that contained several demands including restoration of statehood to J&K, holing of assembly elections, the release of detainees, transparent recruitments, resolution of the issues of the fruit industry, and so on.

During the meeting, Union Home Minister assured Apni Party leaders that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored soon after the assembly elections are held here.

Besides, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari the delegation included Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir, Chairman Political affairs Committee Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Vice President Choudhary Zulfikar, Vice President Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Vice President Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Vice President Usman Majid, Vice President Javaid Mustaffa Mir, General Secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir, Provincial President Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Chief Coordinator Abdul Majeed Padder, President for party’s Youth Wing Junaid Azim Mattu, Provincial President Jammu Manjeet Singh, General Secretary Vijay Bakaya, and General Secretary Syed Asgar Ali.

According to a statement issued here, Apni Party leaders had a detailed conversation with the Home Minister on several important issues. The meeting was held in a conducive atmosphere and the Home Minister was kind enough to pay attention to the demands and issues that the leaders raised during the meeting.

Apni Party leaders handed over a memorandum containing several demands to the Home Minister. The memorandum demanded immediate restoration of the statehood to J&K and the assembly elections here at the earliest. It reads: “The Hon’ble Prime Minister and The Union Home Minister have committed to restoring statehood at an appropriate time. Apni Party honestly believes that this is an appropriate time to win the confidence of the people, particularly the youth of J&K by restoring the statehood and holding the Assembly Elections at the earliest.”

Also, the memorandum contained the demand for transparent and fast recruitments in J&K. It reads, “Recently, it was observed that the merit list for various government vacancies was quashed given the lack of transparency and alleged malpractices. The youth of J&K have immensely suffered due to the quashing of lists, resulting in loss of precious time and looming uncertainty, particularly on account of the age bar. This also results in pendency in filling up departmental posts. It has also been observed that the verification process for such recruitments is cumbersome and time-consuming, hence loses its essence and results in forfeiting equal opportunities to the concerned aspirants.”

Furthermore, the memorandum demanded the release of the jailed youth. It said, “It has been long since such youth have been in preventive custody. The parents of these youth and the respective local communities have a genuine demand for their release. The youth of Jammu and Kashmir is capable and determined to play a positive role in the changed scenario. We strongly believe that integrating the youth of Jammu and Kashmir into the mainstream and providing them with a credible and viable platform, will allow them to contribute to the best in nation-building.”

Moreover, the memorandum demanded GoI ensure tax-free apple imports from Iran via Afghanistan is stopped to safeguard the domestic fruit industry.

The memorandum reads, “The apple growers and traders in Kashmir Valley continue to face hardships after hundreds of fruit-laden trucks are unable to pass smoothly on Jammu–Srinagar National highway. The Apple industry, worth Rs. 12,000 Crore, is the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy. As many as 3.5 million persons are directly or indirectly dependent on the apple trade, contributing about 8% to the region’s GDP. The Fruit Growers and traders, however, have faced multiple hardships and downslides since January 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

It further said, “The apple trade at present is also marred by low prices for the produce. The rates, according to the farmers, have plummeted to half in what many see as an outcome of tax-free imports from Iran via Afghanistan which affects the economy of J&K.”

In addition, the memorandum requested the government to ensure the completion of projects such as the construction of long pending projects (Sadhna Tunnel, Mughal Road Tunnel, Sinthan tunnel, and Lolab-Bandipora Tunnel).

Moreover, the memorandum contained the demand for the formation of a genuine and judicious verification policy in respect of those candidates who are selected for various Government jobs.

Further, the memorandum contained an appeal to the government for raising additional special battalions, particularly in border regions to create job opportunities and halt the flow of misguided individuals who are the worst enemies of peace and prosperity while playing in the hands of our enemies.

The memorandum also demanded the implementation of the recommendations about the OBC in letter and spirit. It reads, “The delegation firmly believes that it is high time that recommendations in respect of OBC are entirely implemented in letter and spirit. Apni Party fervently appeals to the Union Government to include Jatts community in OBC category.”

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