Altaf Bukhari pledges prosperity and development in the area; assures that Apni Party will not disappoint the electorate
JK News Today
Srinagar, September 3: In a major political event for the first time in over three decades, the Apni Party, on Sunday, organized a public meeting in the Warpora area of North Kashmir’s Sopore. This region was a stronghold of the separatist movement for quite a long time, precisely after 1987. The event witnessed a remarkable turnout as a large number of residents thronged the venue and warmly welcomed the party president, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, and his accompanying leaders upon their arrival.
Addressing the occasion, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “We all know that the people in Sopore chose to remain disconnected from mainstream political parties for the last three decades, aligning themselves with a specific ideology. However, I pose a question: What tangible benefits has this isolation brought to the people in this region, apart from bringing misery and bloodshed? More importantly, how long can the people of this area sustain this isolation without further harming their interests and rights?”
Urging people not to remain excluded from the governance system and the democratic process any longer, he said, “The reality is that a prolonged period of violence and instability has brought only suffering and deprivation to the people here. Look at how this region suffers due to basic infrastructure deficits and a lack of development. We cannot deny the fact that to secure our civic rights and a fair share of development, we must be part of the system. By remaining outside the governance system and not participating in the process of choosing the right people as your representatives, you are depriving yourself of a say in the democratic process.”
Sharing his political views candidly, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “I do not mince words when I say that Jammu and Kashmir is destined to be a part of India, as chosen by the leadership in 1947. I say this even though New Delhi has, time and again, New Delhi has, at times, caused emotional distress and hurt our sentiments. But I believe that the solutions to our problems will also come from New Delhi, not from elsewhere.”
“Unfortunately, New Delhi has always promoted and endorsed dynastic leadership here, even during the 1987 elections, when those who were leading the movement here tried to bring about change through the ballot box. Eventually, we witnessed a long phase of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. I hope Delhi has realized that tampering with the public mandate was not the right thing to do.” He added.
Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari appealed to the people in Sopore to give Apni Party a fair chance in the upcoming elections. He said, “Today, I promise you that Apni Party will not disappoint you if you entrust us with your mandate to serve you.”
Regarding the economic potential of the Sopore region, he said, “The Almighty has bestowed tremendous potential for fruit crops in this region. Once upon a time, this region used to be called ‘Chota London’ (Mini London) because of its flourishing crops and prosperity. People here were well off due to its thriving orchards at that time. Later, the circumstances took a downturn for economic growth, and the area grappled with a lack of development and desirable prosperity.”
He promised that if Apni Party forms the government in J&K, it will leave no stone unturned to ensure the revival of Sopore’s past glory. He stressed, “Today, with a lack of opportunities for our young generation and an increasing unemployment rate, we have no option but to rejuvenate our horticulture industry using modern and scientific methods. Only a strong economy will ensure a better future for our youth and the coming generations.”
Taking a dig at the opportunistic and deceptive politics of regional political parties, he said, “When Article 370 was revoked by the parliament, we had a bunch of members from parties like NC and PDP. Why didn’t they resist this move, or why didn’t they resign from the membership of the parliament to protest this devastating occurrence? Even (Ghulam Nabi) Azad Sahib, who now presents himself as a savior of the rights of the J&K people, supported the abrogation as a leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha.”
Party’s Parliamentary Affairs Committee (PAC) Chairman Mohammad Dilawar Mir, while addressing the gathering, stressed the importance of sustainable peace in the region. He said, “Kashmir has tragically witnessed the loss of 1.5 lakh young lives to violence over the years, yet we have gained nothing in return. Even after the deaths of these youngsters, their families continue to suffer here. We can no longer afford to continue violence and destruction in this land, as the future of our young generation is now at stake.”
He urged people to unite to contribute towards peace and harmony and assured them that Apni Party would ensure a better future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Our leader, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, does not need anything from politics. The Almighty has already given him everything. He has no monetary ambitions. He has chosen to stand with the people to protect their political and economic rights. Let’s strengthen his hands to rid ourselves of traditional and dynastic political leaders who have harmed the interests of the people to their core.”
Party’s Chief Spokesperson, Javaid Hassan Baigh, shed light on Apni Party’s ideology and mission. He said, “After August 5, 2019, when J&K was in deep chaos and people were apprehensive about losing the demography of the region and their special rights to land and jobs, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and his colleagues thought about the situation. They resolved to stand in solidarity with the people to safeguard these rights. On March 14, 2020, we met the Prime Minister in New Delhi and succeeded in receiving an official assurance that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would continue to have special rights to agricultural land and jobs here. This marked Apni Party’s inaugural contribution shortly after its inception.”
Party General Secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir suggested that people forget the past and look forward to a better and brighter future. He said, “Certain things went wrong in the past due to leaders with a short vision and people who blindly supported them. Today, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are grappling with the weakest-ever situation because of mistakes made by past leaders. Since the past is already behind us, now is the right time to let go and collectively work towards a better future.”
“To create a better future, we must join hands and strive for J&K’s economic and political empowerment, which will ultimately ensure a brighter future for our youth and the coming generations. Apni Party has a clear and unambiguous agenda for this,” he added.
Besides Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Mohammad Dilawar Mir, and Rafi Ahmad Mir, the prominent party leaders who were present on the occasion included Javaid Hassan Baigh, Yawar Mir, Ghulam Mohammad War, Akhtar Rasool, Touseef Ahmad, Rayees Ahmad Kaloo, Bilal Ahmad, Mohammad Maqbool Sofi, Nazir Ahmad Naikoo, Ghulam Mohiuddin, and others.