Srinagar, June 20: J&K Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari Monday took a dig at New Delhi and said, “Election is not a charity that New Delhi has to favor it to people of Jammu and Kashmir”. He also said, “J&K shook hands with democratic India, otherwise there were options left available with the people to decide their future other than with India”.
Speaking at the mini stadium Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Bukhari said the people of Jammu and Kashmir shook hands with democratic India because of its democratic temperament and paving way for elections in J&K is not a favor but a democratic right that the Constitution of the country grants us.
He said while keeping the secular fabric of the country in mind and its democratic set up, the people of J&K choose to remain with India otherwise there were options available with the people to decide their future other than India.
Bukhari said that people of Jammu and Kashmir are being deprived of the rights people in the rest of the country are availing and demanded New Delhi to give us those rights and privileges the Indian citizens are availing as per the Constitution of the country.
In a scathing attack on regional mainstream political parties, Bukhari said traditional political parties during their decades of rule never talked of people’s sufferings. “Truth is bitter but Apni Party will always tell the truth”, and added, the alliance the local regional parties had formed few years back is doing nothing but “befooling” common masses in the name of restoration of Article 370 and 35 (A).
“The PAGD can’t restore the lost identity of J&K. It is the Supreme Court (SC) who can return back Article 370 and 35 (A). These leaders have formed PAGD only to come back in power. They have nothing to do with what we should have and what not?,” Bukhari alleged.
He said the Apni Party is not hoodwinking people over Article 370 and 35 (A). “Our party is clean. Apni Party knows only SC can restore it”, he said.
At the occasion, he termed the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 (A) as “tragedy” and added “The identity of J&K was severely smashed down on August 5, 2019”.
He said after revocation of Article 370 the political leaders across were detained and released in gradual manner afterwards, however we felt the need for political activities on ground to represent our own people and address their concerns.
He said the tourism industry was shut and local business was off but we realized our duty and came forward to speak for people. “Those wanted to speak for people were expelled by their parties who had kept a graveyard like silence over people’s hardships. We sought jailed youth who should be given a chance to live a dignified life. We sought employment and land ownership rights should be kept reserved only for locals. What was wrong with this,” he said and added, “If expressing concern over people’s hardship is a sin, then the Apni Party reiterates it will commit this sin again and again”.
He appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to ensure safety of every Kashmiri outside J&K and don’t let them be cannon fodder at the hands of communal forces.