Bukhari’s Apni Party vows protest if Delhi fails to restore J-K statehood

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The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief vowed that there will be “no hesitation” in hitting the streets if New Delhi fails to restore the statehood to J-K.

Altaf Bukhari on Monday told media men, on the day marking the first foundation day anniversary, that “we have to fight for the restoration of statehood to J&K. Our demand also is to hold Assembly elections as soon as possible.”

The JKAP chief added that the agenda framed by the Apni Party on the day of its birth was pursued in letter and spirit but certain things like prolonged shutdown in the wake of Article 370 revocation and slicing of breaking down J-K into two UTs followed by Covid-19 outbreak, “we couldn’t pursue our manifesto the way it should have been.”

In August 2019, the government of India revoked J-K’s limited-autonomy amending articles 370, 35A.

“Nevertheless, we did our best and didn’t sit in our homes. We didn’t either show hollow dreams to people of J-K and never promised something that is not achievable,” Bukhari said. He was flanked by party leaders Muhammad Ashraf Mir, SMC Mayor Junaid Matoo and others. 

Asked why he is not demanding restoration of special status, he said that he can’t make false promises as it was the Parliament of India that can restore special status to J-K. “I would like to make it clear that 5 August 2019 was the darkest day in the history of J-K that nobody will forget,” he said. “We will strive hard for restoration of Statehood to J-K and if Delhi delays it, we will not hesitate to hit the streets.”

JKAP also claimed credit for reversing the job policy order where youth of J-K were entitled for only Class fourth jobs. “There are other issues which we are pursuing like 15 years for becoming a domicile of J&K. We are also aware of the ploys as to how J&K Bank was weakened by stripping off its autonomy. This institution is our backbone and we will continue to fight for restoration of its autonomy,” he said.

Demanding early Assembly polls, Bukhari said that if Apni Party is voted to power, it will take historic steps especially making 25 years mandatory for becoming the domicile of the State. “We ensured that land policy is amended and today, our 88 percent land is safe which is the outcome of our meeting with the Prime Minister Narendera Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” he said.

Bukhari lamented on the National Conference’s decision of staying away from Delimitation Exercise. “The biggest party could have participated in the process and put forth its point.  They choose otherwise and I at times believe, boycotting something is aimed at facilitating the bigger plans. Perhaps, Delhi’s plan was to be made successful by staying away,” he said, taking a jibe at NC. 

Bukhari urged the DC to finish its job as soon as possible stating that the exercise was so simple and not complicated as being projected. Bukhari also took a dig at the J&K administration for not being able to resolve the mutton crisis in Kashmir. “How strange is it that even after four months of stalemate, the government is not able to resolve the mutton issue in the Valley. Mutton dealers should be taken into confidence and the crisis must end sooner the better,” he said. (KNO)

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