24-member Apni Party delegation led by Bukhari to meet PM today

Statehood, domicile status main demands

Srinagar Mar 13: In a significant development, a 24-member Apni Party delegation comprising former legislators and ex-Ministers led by its president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari is meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi tomorrow evening.

This will be the first official meeting of any political party from Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister after the scraping of Article 370 on August 5, last year and division of erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Bukhari who is already in New Delhi told Excelsior that 24-former legislators Ministers from both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir will meet Modi at his residence at around 4 pm tomorrow.

The other members of the delegation of the Apni Party will fly tomorrow morning from Srinagar to join Bukhari in the afternoon before their meeting with PM in the national capital. They are likely to meet Home Minster Amit Shah and other Ministers.

Bukhari told Excelsior that they will raise the issues confronting the people of Jammu and Kashmir post August 5, 2019. He said that they would raise the demands of restoration of Statehood, protection of land rights and jobs and the redressal of the problems related to Tourism, Horticulture, Agriculture and other sectors.

He said that economy in Jammu and Kashmir is in distress and the industries in Jammu are shut for last over 7 months. “The people in both Jammu and Kashmir regions have similar issues and concerns. We want to raise the concerns of the people of both the regions with the PM”, he said.

Bukhari said that for the first time since 1947, people of both the regions have common demands. “There are no such demands which are different. People in both the regions are concerned about Statehood, domicile rights, jobs and economic distress. We will raise all these issues with PM and put forward our demands”, he added.

He said that the Apni Party has representation from both the regions and all communities. “It is a secular platform where former members of all parties like PDP, Congress, NC are there. We want to bring out Jammu and Kashmir from the present distress”, he said.

Bukhari said he is hopeful that there will be positive outcome from the meeting with the PM. He said that it comes in the backdrop of the release of former Chief Minister and president of NC, Dr Farooq Abdullah. He hoped that all the other leaders and people who have been jailed post August 5 last year will be released soon.