SRINAGAR — The former Finance Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari on Sunday formally launched his new political podium in the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
The party has taken a shape amid the mainstream leaders including the three former Chief Ministers — Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti undergoing detention after being booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Launching his new political podium at his residential place in Lal Chowk today, Bukhari, who has served as Finance Minister during the erstwhile PDP-BJP bonhomie in Jammu and Kashmir, was accompanied by various leaders who were affiliated with different political parties here. The party has been named as ‘Jammu Kashmir Apni Party’.
The leaders who have joined hands with Bukhari have also served as former legislators or ministers in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State.
Talking to media persons, Bukhari said, “We are a regional party with a national outlook.”
Replying to a query about the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status (Article 370) by the Central government last year, Bukhari said that the case is still pending in the top court of India and any decision in this regard by the judiciary has to be accepted. “Nothing can be achieved by opposing the move by the Central government. It will not bring any fruit,” he said.
He said that the party will only focus on the development in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that all the miseries being faced by the people and youth will be put to an end. “We are not here to sell dreams or fantasy to our people and instead, shall always be pragmatic, honest and fair in our approach,” he said.
However, he said that “restoration of statehood, domicile rights on land and jobs, besides a holistic and an equitable development of all the regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir forms our core agenda.”
“In this background, we have resolved to create a viable political platform that functions in accordance with the wishes of people and where the people are real stakeholders of the political process. We, the subscribers of this declaration, hereby constitute and form a political party under the name and style of Jammu Kashmir Apni Party,” he added.
Asked about the formation of the party amid continuous detention of mainstream leaders, he said, “We were waiting for last seven months, hoping that the leaders will come out and raise the issues being faced by the people. But, as most of the leaders who were under detention have been released, they preferred to keep mum instead of raising the issues. Therefore, we decided to come up with an alternative to speak for the people.”
He further added that it is not about the PSA on political leaders only, but all those booked under the Act is a matter of concern for them.
Bukhari was accompanied by many other leaders including Ghulam Hassan Mir, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, Usman Majid, Muhammad Dilawar Mir, Rafi Mir, Jagmohan Singh Raina, Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Vijay Bakaya, Shoaib Nabi Lone, Muhammad Yawar Mir, Manjeet Singh, Javaid Hassan Baigh, Advocate Manzoor Khan and others.