The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday distanced itself from ex-top cop Ashiq Bukhari, known for his counter-insurgency operations, just a day after the party spokesman claimed he addressed a rally in north Kashmir's Handwara district with patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
"Neither has he (Bukhari) joined the party nor he addressed any rally yesterday," said PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar.
Bukhari, who retired as a senior superintendent of police, earlier this year, has remained a big name at the peak of the militancy in the valley. The security agencies have been praising him for his anti-militant operations in south Kashmir.
The PDP spokesman on Wednesday claimed that Bukhari rubbed shoulders with the top party men during a poll rally of its patron Sayeed but retracted the in just 24 hours.
"PDP candidate for Handwara assembly segment Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Sofi and senior leaders like Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Irfan Panditpuri, Advocate Mohammad Amin, Ghulam Mohammad Mir, Abdul Rashid Dar, Abdul Rashid Bhat and former SSP Syed Ashiq Bukhari also addressed the rally," said the spokesman in its press release on Wednesady.
Ruling National Conference (NC) has castigated the PDP for roping in the former cop. "There is a history to it. Bukhari is known for his deeds. Besides, Bashir Runiyal (former commissioner-secretary) joined the party despite facing corruption charges. This exposes Mufti's rhetoric of being a clean party," said NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu.
Ex-CS JOINS PDP
Meanwhile, the PDP on Thursday claimed to have received a shot in the arm when influential former state chief secretary Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, a former leader of ruling National Conference from Ganderbal, joined the PDP.
"Veteran NC Rasool along with his son Sheikh Gowhar were welcomed into the party fold by the party patron Sayeed," said a PDP spokesman.
Speaking on the occasion, Sayeed said, "The doors of the PDP are open for all well-meaning people who want contribute in the party's efforts to bring about lasting peace, and development in the region. The party represents hope and optimism in the days of gloom and disenchantment."
In his speech, Rasool said, "The PDP by way of its pro-people policies is the only viable regional alternative for the people of the state. The ruling government has failed to do anything good for the people except strengthening the instrument of oppression to unleash terror on them."