SRINAGAR, AUG 17 – Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday said that the enduring violence, over the past more than thirty years, has damaged the interests of J&K to its core. He said the gun culture has not only stopped the growth of J&K in terms of its development but has also been hindering the prospect of the Union Territory (UT).
Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari was addressing a grand public rally at north Kashmir’s Kupwara, wherein people and party workers gave him a rousing reception on his arrival at the venue. The workers, wearing similar outfits, were raising slogans hailing their leader at the rally.
According to a press release issued here, Apni Party President said that only a peaceful environment can bring J&K out of the prevailing uncertainty and chaos.
He said, “For a better future for our youth, we need sustained peace and tranquillity in J&K. We cannot expect a better future unless we get rid of the violence and evil politics. If we have peace here, we can have prosperity and development which will eventually make the future of our youth prosperous and protected.”
He said that gun has ruined J&K in terms of loss of lives and the well-being of the people. He said, “We have lost around 1.5 lakh people, mostly youngsters to the violence here during the past thirty years. Also, J&K has got its growth in terms of development and prosperity blocked due to the violence.”
“Almighty has bestowed Kupwara with huge potential and natural resources, had these resources been harnessed over the years and decades this would have been the most developed place in J&K,” He said and added, “We have huge deposits of marble, but the marble manufacturing units are halted here since the phase of violence started in J&K. This is how violence hinders the economic growth of the people and closes the employment opportunities.”
He further said that Kupwara has its significance because of its important geographical location. This district should not have been in this pathetic condition. The leaders who have claimed to be the representative of the Kupwara people have even failed to develop the infrastructure for the district hospital here. We have several places in Kupwara that can be developed as tourist places. One of such places is Bungus Valley, but we have not developed road connectivity to this beautiful place over the past 75 years. We do not have a reliable road to Sadhna Pass here.”
Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari strongly condemned the recent attack on two Kashmiri Pandit brothers in south Kashmir’s Shopian. He said, “The victims along with their families had chosen not to migrate from their motherland. They lived side by side with their Muslim brethren in their village, yet some beasts in human garb fired on two brothers killing one Sunil Kumar and injuring another Pitambar while they were working in their orchard. This brutal act of violence is shameful and inhuman.”
In his speech, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari demanded the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Stripping of J&K’s autonomy and statehood was an unfortunate occurrence. But we believe that the Prime Minister and Home Minister of the country will fulfill their commitment to the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, and Apni Party will keep striving for getting this status back to J&K.” On this occasion, people in the rally raised slogans reiterating the demand for statehood for J&K.
Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also promised that Apni Party will continue its efforts to get J&K and its people politically empowered. He said, “We will continue to work for the political empowerment of J&K people. It is sad to see that decision-making institutions lack the participation of the J&K people in them —which signifies disempowerment of J&K people.”
Reiterating his promises Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “We are committed to the people of J&K that we will make several initiatives to ensure economic dividends to every household here. We will provide up to 500 units of electricity free in winter months to the Valley consumers, the same amount of free power to people in Jammu during summers, and 300 units of free electricity to the people in the Valley in summers and to Jammu people in winters.”
He further said, “Similarly, we will enhance the present Rs 50,000 marriage assistance to the girls up to one lakh rupees, and the monthly widow and old age pension up to rupees five thousand from existing one thousand rupees.” “Also, we will give four free gas refills annually to every household in J&K.” He added.
Besides party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, the prominent party leaders who were present at the convention include Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir, Parliamentary Committee Chairman Mohammad Dilawar Mir, General Secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir, Provincial President Mohammad Ashraf Mir, District President (Kupwara) Raja Manzoor, Vice District President (Kupwara) Rahim Wani, District Vice President Abdul Rashid Bhat, District Vice President Mohammad Amin Bhat, District President (Kupwar) for the party’s women wing Firdousa Ji, Vice President women’s wing Sonia Sadaf Ji, Vice President for women’s wing Parveena Ji, District Publicity Secretary Advocate Tajamul Ahmad, Coordinator Dr. Tajamul, Senior Leader Hafizullah, President Youth wing Mohammad Ashraf Andrabi, Manzoor Ahmad Ganai, Senior leader Naseer Ahmad, Aakash Ashraf, Spokesperson Mohammad Amin Peer, District Secretary Bilal Arif, and others.