Ex-PDP minister Syed Altaf Bukhari launches Apni Party in Srinagar

Srinagar, March 8: Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) minister Altaf Bukhari on Sunday launched his own political party ‘Apni Party’ in Jammu and Kashmir. Bukhari is first mainstream politician in Kashmir who said publicly that Kashmiris cannot perpetually mourn the abrogation of Article 370. He said the time has come to strive for achievable political objectives.

Bukhari said that he had been waiting for the last seven months hoping that National Conference and the PDP would come out and raise the issues confronted by the people.
“Unfortunately, they have not come out. Political parties don’t cease to exist once their leaders are arrested. Now, most of their leaders have been released, if not the presidents of the parties. We believed they would talk about issues, but they chose silence. We thought it necessary to flag issues,” Bukhari said.

Bukhari said there is a yearning for the restoration of the statehood in Jammu and Kashmir. “Why shouldn’t we raise this issue? Bureaucracy is acting like as if there is martial law imposed in J&K. Why shouldn’t we talk about it? J&K Bank has been converted into sub-office of the anti-corruption bureau. We are aware of these issues and will raise them, come what may,” said Bukhari.

In January, Bukhari-led delegation presented a memorandum to the Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu listing measures for the revival of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has been unanimously elected as the President by the members of his new political party. The ex-PDP minister’s name for the post of President was proposed by former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir and was seconded by former legislator and Chief Secretary Vijay Bakaya and other ex-legislators.

The meeting over dinner took place at the residence of Altaf Bukhari at Sheikhbagh Lal Chowk on Saturday evening. All the participants in the meeting later unanimously reposed their support and elected Bukhari as their President.

The political leaders who participated in the meeting included Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Usman Majeed, Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Abdul Majeed Padder, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Javed Beig, Rafi Mir, Zaffar Manhas, Abdul Rahim Rather, Raja Manzoor, Kamal Arora, Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed Sheikh, Javed Mirchal, Shoaib Lone, Choudhary Qamar, Syed Asghar Ali, Faqeer Mohammad, Muntazir Mohouddin, G.M. Bhawan, Hilal ahmad Shah, Neilangan Arora, Vikram Malhotra, Mudasir Amin, Mohammad Ashraf Dar, Samiullah, Kavel Singh, Jagmohan Singh Raina, Manjeet Singh, Irfan Naqeeb and Farooq Andrabi, among other prominent leaders from across Jammu and Kashmir.

Almost all the leaders addressed the meeting and deliberated on the prevailing socio-economic and political situation which has emerged after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

In January, a Bukhari-led delegation had presented a memorandum to J&K Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu listing measures for the revival of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from Agencies)