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Our strength is rooted in our policy of truthfulness and public support: Altaf Bukhari

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Srinagar: Apni Party President, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, on Sunday, said that following the painful occurrences of August 5, 2019, he and his colleagues decided to form a party to take a stand for reconciliation to protect the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He underscored that the Apni Party’s strength is deeply rooted in the integrity of its leadership and the overwhelming support of the public.

He made these comments while addressing a massive public rally in the Wanabal Rawalpora area of Srinagar’s Chanapora constituency today. People, including men, flocked to the event, and gave a rousing reception to the party’s senior leaders upon their arrival at the venue.

Addressing the rally, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari shed light on the Apni Party’s core objectives and said, “Following the painful occurrences on August 5, 2019, my colleagues and I held extensive deliberations and decided to form a party that will be committed to advocating reconciliation for the protection of the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Apni Party’s strength is deeply rooted in the integrity of its leadership and the overwhelming support of the public.”

He further said, “We realized that Jammu and Kashmir was subjected to great vulnerability due to the changes made by New Delhi in the parliament on August 5, 2019. At that time, the entire region was engulfed in turmoil and uncertainty, with people fearing the potential loss of their demography and identity. Ironically, the traditional political parties and their leaders kept quiet at that time, leaving people helpless and in deep distress. But we decided to step forward and stand by our people. This is how and why Apni Party was established on March 8, 2020.”

Taking a dig at traditional political parties and their leaders, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “The past seven decades of history bear witness to the fact that our traditional political parties, primarily the two family-based parties, either chose to remain silent or fled when people needed them the most. They did the same in 1990 during the outbreak of violence and repeated it after August 5, 2019.”

“However, when it comes to grabbing power, the same parties would come to allure people through deceptive slogans like ‘Raishumari,’ ‘Autonomy,’ self-rule, and so on. They have always deceived and misled people through deceptive and emotional sloganeering to gain power and remain in power,” he added.

Apni Party President urged people to put an end to the political exploitation by traditional parties and said, “Come elections, they will once again approach you with alluring and deceptive slogans because they need your votes. It is your responsibility not to allow further exploitation. I appeal to you to join hands with the Apni Party for the political and economic empowerment of J&K’s people. We will never mislead you, as we do not believe in fake promises and deceptive slogans. We are focused on attainable goals, ensuring peace, prosperity, and development for this land and its people.”

 Expressing his grave concern over the spree of arrests in the valley, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “It is painful to witness that people are being picked up now and then. This practice must be stopped so that people can live peacefully.” He also criticised the recent government order prohibiting government employees from resorting to protest or joining demonstrations for their legitimate demands. He termed the government directive in this regard as “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic”.

Speaking on the occasion, the party’s Senior Vice President, Ghulam Hassan Mir, called on New Delhi to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and restore its statehood without any further delay. He said, “Apni Party strongly demands the holding of assembly elections and the restoration of statehood immediately in Jammu and Kashmir. Let the people elect their representatives through democratic means. People should not be deprived of their constitutional right to elect their representatives.”

“Also, we strongly demand the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Ghulam Hassan Mir appealed to people to support the Apni Party for the protection of their rights and for ensuring their well-being. He said, “Apni Party is a people’s party that is committed to striving for the well-being of the people. It was the Apni Party that ensured the protection of agricultural land and jobs in Jammu and Kashmir post-August 5, 2019. We convinced the leadership in Delhi and made the PMO issue a statement assuring that only the people of Jammu and Kashmir will have the right to jobs and the agricultural land of this place.”

Party’s Provincial President Mohammad Ashraf Mir, while addressing the rally said, “Apni Party is committed to work for the political and economic empowerment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

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