Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari demands restoration of J-K’s statehood, elections
- Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said that political parties should join hand to fight for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and not just sit and watch how the BJP’s plan unfolds.
Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari on Monday demanded the immediate restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding assembly elections.
The party, which was launched last year in March by former People’s Democratic Party leader Bukhari, observed its foundation day in Srinagar.
“We have pledged to ourselves what we said on our day of launch that restoration of statehood is our priority and holding of assembly elections. We demand that the statehood should be restored immediately and elections held as soon as possible,” Bukhari told the media while being flanked by many senior leaders including Srinagar’s mayor Junaid Mattoo.
Bukhari said that the people including the political parties should join to fight for the promises made by the Union home minister Amit Shah. “We will have to fight for our rights. People say that statehood has been promised, I tell those that many things were promised in 1947 also but did we get those,” he said.
“We will have to fight for everything. If I had not gone (to Delhi to meet leadership), the jobs would not have been restored for us. Till the next government was formed thousands of people from outside would have gotten jobs here,” he said.
Bukhari had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah in March last year with a charter of demands including restoration of statehood, domicile rights for land and jobs, pursuing for an early hearing on Article 370 , return of people stuck due to Covid-19, release of political detainees and restoration of internet 4G services.
He met the Prime Minister once more in January this year.
Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was revoked on August 5, 2019 by the Parliament and the state was split into two union territories – J&K with an assembly and Ladakh without one.
The Apni Party chief said that political parties should not sit back and watch how the BJP’s plan unfolds. “Yes I agree BJP has a plan but does that mean we will sit back and watch. No, we will have to defend our ability. We won’t sit back. I request every political party that we will get nothing by sitting quietly. Ultimately we will get what is achievable and we should all join hands for that,” he said.
Bukhari claimed that every resident of Jammu and Kashmir wants restoration of Article 370.
“There is no one in Jammu and Kashmir who does not want its restoration but only the Parliament or the Supreme Court can make that happen,” he said.
Recollecting revocation of Article 370 and 35-A, he said these were not numerical numbers. “These represented our emotions. It was as if our emotions were snatched away from us. Everybody was suffering, every section of society,” he said.
"August 5, 2019 was a black day. We can never forget what happened to us on that day. It was no less than the most heinous thing which could happen to people anywhere," he said.