Srinagar, May 4: Revealing his intentions, Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said that if his party obtains a public mandate to form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir, it will ensure constitutional guarantees for exclusive land rights to the people; redefine the domicile rule to require a minimum of 35 years of residency for eligibility, instead of the current 15 years; and strive for the restoration of statehood to J&K.
Also, he said that Apni Party government would release report cards detailing the government’s progress and accomplishments annually to keep the public informed of the achievements.
Bukhari stated this while addressing a large public rally in Rajpora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district today. He along with other senior party leaders, received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the gathered audience at the rally venue.
He said, “We do not believe in political gimmicks, false promises, emotional sloganeering, and deceptive politics. Apni Party was launched in Mach 2020 at a time when there was chaos and uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir due to the August 5 occurrences. People were under the lockdown. They were apprehensive of the future, and they thought they will lose even their identity. At that crucial time, we decided to stand by our people and establish a party dedicated to protecting their democratic and constitutional rights. Today, I promise you that this party will never disappoint you. We will remain committed to fighting for the rights of Jammu and Kashmir and its people and will continue to strive towards that goal.”
He further said, “As you are aware, Apni Party has already taken measures to secure agricultural land and jobs exclusively for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Following the events of August 2019, we met with the Prime Minister and other Union Government leaders to ensure that the people of J&K would not lose their rights to these resources. If we are elected with a public mandate, we will continue to work towards obtaining constitutional guarantees for these rights from New Delhi.”
On the restoration of statehood to J&K, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir is restored as soon as possible.”
Urging people to vote for the Apni party in the upcoming elections, he said, “You have witnessed how traditional parties and their leaders have deceived you with false promises and empty slogans over the years and decades. To gain and maintain their power, they always sought your votes by appealing to your emotions or offering unrealistic goals. In contrast, Apni Party has a straightforward and transparent agenda. We do not make pretentious statements but instead commit to working towards achieving peace, prosperity, and development in Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, I request you to give us a fair chance to serve you. I, again promise you, that Apni Party will not let you down.”
On the upcoming meeting of delegates from G20 nations in Srinagar, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “This is a proud moment for us to host the delegates from G20 countries, and we wholeheartedly welcome our guests. However, I would like to urge the administration to refrain from arresting young people during this event. I have been informed that individuals who have been involved in objectionable activities in the past are being summoned to police stations as a precautionary measure in the name of security. This must stop.”
Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed his grave concern about the prevailing drug menace in Jammu and Kashmir, reiterating his appeal to the government to permit religious leaders and organizations such as Jamat Islami to contribute towards eradicating the drug menace in the Valley. He demanded the release of prominent religious leaders, such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Moulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Moulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, and others, so that they can leverage their immense public following and influence to combat social evils, especially the drug menace.
Addressing the rally, the party’s Vice President Zaffar Iqbal Manhas urged the people to introspect and understand how they have been deceived and disregarded by the traditional political leaders over the past more than 70 years. He said, “In 1947, the then leaders joined hands with New Delhi without caring about the sentiments of the people and even Maharaja, who desired to make Jammu and Kashmir an independent state. But the people blindly trusted the leaders to such an extent that they even chanted self-insulting slogans like like ‘Ala karay ga, wangan karay ga, bab karay ga’. Later, the same leader, despite already having joined hands with New Delhi, launched the so-called ‘plebiscite movement’ making the people cannon fodder just for his political gains.”
“After seven decades have passed, it is now imperative for the people to engage in introspection and recognize the significance of electing leaders who prioritize the public interest over their own political and electoral gains,” Manhas added.
He emphasized that J&K’s future lies with India and the solutions to the region’s problems ultimately lie with New Delhi. He said, “We have to get the solution from New Delhi, which has created problems for us. Trying to find solutions from somewhere else is not the right thing to do.”
He explained his point in simple terms: “Whenever I see someone trying to search for solutions in the wrong place, it reminds me of a tale. In the story, a person who had lost a belonging was searching for it near a lamppost, and those around him attempted to help him, but to no avail. Eventually, someone asked the person where he had actually lost the belonging, to which he replied that he lost it elsewhere. However, he was searching near the lamppost solely because the light was better there.”
The moral of this story is that it’s important to search for solutions where they truly exist, and for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, that means striving to obtain their democratic and constitutional rights from New Delhi, not somewhere else.
Party’s Provincial President Mohammad Ashraf Mir addressed the gathering and expressed his gratitude to the people for taking out their time from their agricultural activities and attending the rally.
He also extended his thanks to people for supporting Apni Party, and said, “It brings me immense joy to witness the trust and support the people of Jammu and Kashmir have placed in Apni Party’s agenda. Our clear and unambiguous approach has resonated with the people, and we are grateful for their unwavering support, which continues to strengthen us day by day.”
“Apni Party has the unique distinction of gaining significant public support within a short period after its launch, making it the only party of its kind,” Mir added.
The other prominent leaders who were present at the rally venue included District President Pulwama G M Mir, District President Ganderbal Javaid Ahmad Mir, Chairman BDC Mohammad Alta Mir, Chairman Municipal Committee Bilal Ahmad, Umar Jan, DDC member Fazl u Din, and others. The rally was organised by Tajalla Andrabi, while Firdous Ahmed, Mohammad Saleem and Khursheed Ahmad assisted him.
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