‘We Have to Do Business with Delhi’, Says Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Apni Party founder, Syed Altaf Buhari said his newly launched outfit is not going to sell something new nor will it resort to fantasies to lure people. He was speaking at the maiden presser of his party on Sunday in the lawns of his Sheikhbagh mansion.

Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari along with other part leaders waving the flag of Jammu and Kashmir ‘Apni party’ during a press conference at his residence in Srinagar on March 8, 2020. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur.

Talking about the association with the Centre, he said Kashmir has to do the business with Delhi no matter we like it or not. He said the five seats in 547 member parliament does not matter at all.

“We have to do business with Delhi (regardless of) whosoever rules Delhi,” Bukhari said. “We do not look at Delhi from the point of view (of) who is ruling (it) today; we look at it from the point of view of the Government of India. We have to deal with Delhi. We have no hesitation in dealing with the Government of India.”

Bukhari said there has been a lot of mistrust between Delhi and Kashmir that needs to be addressed and Apni Party will actually bridge the gap. “Earlier such mistrust existed between Kashmir and Jammu and now that is gone. We have the same concerns: Jammu wants statehood, so we also want; they want protection to jobs and land and we also want it in Kashmir. Now old and new faces from Kashmir and Jammu have come together, we will add up more faces in coming days.”

Bukhari skirted questions on the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan and also felt short of words in offering a difference between his party and the BJP as far as the stand on problems flagged by the parties go. He talked about protecting the domicile rights, land ownership and restoration of statehood that BJP is also saying. He said when issues are the same, where is the scope of discovering difference. He said the people cannot manufacture issues at home. “Apni Party is a regional party with a national outlook,” he said.

On Article 370 abrogation, the new party leader said that if he does not accept the Government of India decision, “will it change the reality?” He asserted that the only option is to wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court.

“We stand for the truth and betterment of the Kashmir,” Bukhari said, insisting launching of Apni Party was a dire need of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. “It is ultimately our need, not theirs.” He said his party will not be family owned and will strictly restrict membership and entry. He said his party is a party by the commoners and for the commoners.

Commenting on the scrapping of the special status, Bukhari said that his party like other common people is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision. As most of the leaders are under detention, he said in democracy leaders are not supposed to be caged. “They all should be released soon,” he said.

When asked that he is being seen as Bakhshi Sahab-2, Bukhari responded that Bakhshi had a political and economic vision and all the political leaders of Kashmir should keep that in mind.

“Because of the abnormal situation every businessman in Kashmir bore the brunt,” he said. “My own consciousness will not give me permission to make Kashmir suffer economically.” He said the vision of Bakhshi is required on political and economic fronts.

Bukhari said his party is also condemning the slapping of PSAs on political leaders. He said from a common man to leaders they are against the slapping of the act. At the same time, he insisted that while the media is talking about the arrest of the political elite, nobody is actually talking about a number of political workers and commoners who have been also arrested.

Bukhari said he does not any election in the near future, maybe a year or a year and a half later after the delimitation, there is a possibility of an election for the Union Territory.

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

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