Apni Party: This Is What It Says It Stands For

SRINAGAR: Syed Altaf Bukhari, the former finance minister and PDP leader who launched his Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on Sunday, read out a statement that was distributed to the media. Here is the text if the statement:

Altaf Bukhari, the founder president of his Apni Party addressing the maiden presser at Srinagar on March 8, 2020. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

“This is a bare fact that Jammu and Kashmir has been passing through times since 1990, leading to an unprecedented scenario of death and destruction in the region. However, the developments which took place on August 5, 2019, brought some new questions and realities to the fore.

The decisions taken by the Union Government on August 5, 2019, besides scrapping of special status, have reduced the erstwhile princely State to the status of the union territory. An unknown and unimagined situation in the 70-year long history of free India, where a full-fledged state enjoying an enviable position among its sister states has been demoted to a Union territory.

Though unpleasant and bitter, it is an undeniable reality that the developments which took place in August 2019, particularly fee deprivation of statehood has badly affected the self-esteem, pride and confidence of the people across Jammu and Kashmir.

This has resulted not only into a complete breakdown of the political institutions but has also stalled the result-oriented and purposeful developmental activity. Hence, a sense of aggressive discontentment on one side and an attitude of complete indifference prevails across Jammu and Kashmir on the other, which at any cost, can’t be left unattended and unaddressed.

The people of J&K have every reason and right to conceive and envision every shade and aspect of a fully developed and civilized democratic society – a society where they can live in harmony and peace, free from discrimination, exploitation and prejudices of any kind or manner under a democratic system.

Our people have had huge sacrifices to their credit for nurturing democratic spirit and an ever-evolving political process in this region. Unfortunately, we never witnessed the desired results of our toil and efforts and instead, we were failed time and again by a particular vested interest class. And the result is that we are in a situation, where, we should have not been!

The present circumstances warranted the formation of a new political party comprising of those who all along had identified and related themselves to the social needs of multiple strata and factions of our society. A party that can respond to rational aspirations of people without promising them moon or stars. We are not here to sell dreams or fantasy to our people and instead shall always be pragmatic, honest and fair in our approach.

Like Article 370 which was eroded and reduced to a frame during last year over 50 years is now in the domain of the judiciary. Hence we have but to wait for the verdict of Honourable Supreme court in any case.

However, restoration of statehood, domicile rights on land and jobs, beside a holistic and equitable development of all the regions and sub-regions of Jammu and Kashmir forms our core group agenda.

After the maiden presser, Altaf Bukhari, the founder president of Apni Party greeting two members from Jammu at the main gate of his home in Srinagar on March 8, 2020. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

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.

The party will seek to ensure that JK’s destiny is driven by the people alone while preserving its identity, specifically, the party will seek to secure the restoration (as already mentioned) of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, protection of domicile rights especially with respect to disposition of land and employment in government services, preserve the self-respect and dignity of the people of Jammu Kashmir, the dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits, empowerment of youth and the women, achieve sustained and regionally balanced economic growth and articulate other popular demands of the people that have a bearing on their wellbeing.

‘I pray to God to give me the stature of Bakshi Sahib’

The party will seek to achieve these objectives in a peaceful, democratic and result-oriented manner.

It is envisaged that the party will have the following office bearers:

  1. Chief Patron
  2. President
  3. Vic Presidents
  4. General Secretary
  5. Chief Spokesperson/Spokespersons
  6. Provincial Presidents
  7. Treasurer
  8. Secretaries
  9. Political Affairs Committee

The committee shall comprise of not more than 15 members. The members PAC shall be nominated by the President in consultation with the Chief Patron.

  1. Central Executive Committee

The committee shall comprise of not more than 40 members including the aforesaid office bearers.

  1. General Council

The Council shall comprise of assembly constituency heads, district presidents and members of Central Executive Committee.

  1. Subordinate Committees

The party shall have executive committees at the provincial, district, zonal, block, panchayat and wards as the case may be.

  1. Frontal Organizations

The party shall also have some frontal organizations for women, youth, students, farmers, ethnic groups.

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