Srinagar, Aug 11: Apni Party on Friday became the first mainstream party to organise a public rally in Soibug area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district since 1987 Legislative Assembly polls with the party president Altaf Bukhari saying that peace would eventually pave the way for prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement of the Apni Party issued here said that addressing a party convention at Soibugh in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Bukhari urged people to contribute their efforts for a peaceful environment in J&K and said that sustained peace would eventually pave the way for the prosperity and development of this land and its people.
The Apni Party statement said that the convention was attended by a large number of people and the event was significant as it marked the first public outreach campaign initiated by a mainstream political party in the area in since 1987.
Recalling the sufferings and troubles that the people of this area had been facing for the past more than 30 years, Bukhari said: “Back in 1987, an individual from this very locality attempted to place his trust in the power of the ballot box, seeking to bring about positive change for the people. But his well-deserved victory was denied, compelling them to opt for bullets instead of ballots. However, the path of the violence brought only miseries and troubles to the people of this place and elsewhere across J&K. Today, we know for sure that the path of violence brought only misery and turmoil to the people of this region and beyond in J&K. Today, we are certain that violence is by no means a solution to our problems.”
He said that the traditional political leaders had always been deceiving people for their own political gains and electoral benefits in J&K.
Bukhari urged people not to continue falling prey to deceptive politics any longer.
He said that the Apni Party’s unwavering commitment was to foster lasting peace, sustained prosperity, and equivalent development in Kashmir and Jammu.
Bukhari promised that the Apni Party would ensure the economic and political empowerment of the people.
"We are destined to be Indians, and I firmly believe that everything necessary for the prosperity and development of this region will come from New Delhi. The solutions to our problems lie within Delhi. However, it is our responsibility to foster a peaceful environment here, enabling the benefits of peace to take root," he said.
Talking about the abrogated Article 370 and Article 35-A, Bukhari expressed hope that the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing the petitions regarding these revoked constitutional provisions, would deliver justice to the people of J&K.
"For a while now, I have asserted that only the Supreme Court possesses the authority to restore what was taken away from us on August 5, 2019. I am hopeful that the apex court will indeed grant justice to the people of this region," he said. "From New Delhi, we are not demanding the moon and stars. We simply seek the rights that the constitution of our country guarantees us. Our fundamental and constitutional rights are sufficient for us to lead a dignified, peaceful, and prosperous life. We should no longer be deprived of these rights.”
Bukhari emphasised the importance of working towards a brighter future for the younger generation and said, “Our youth are our future. We cannot tolerate any form of uncertainty or turmoil here, as these factors impede the potential for a better future for our youth. Our youth need a peaceful environment and opportunities to lead prosperous lives."
He assured that the Apni Party would persistently work towards creating a favourable and peaceful environment in J&K.
Bukhari demanded the government to allow religious organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami to perform their social and religious duties, and release of prominent religious leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Moulana Abdul Rasheed Dawoodi, Moulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, and others so that they could help to restrain social evils, primarily the prevailing drug menace in society.
Apni Party’s senior vice president, Ghulam Hassan Mir said that Apni Party played a role in ensuring that there was no demographic change in J&K post August 5, 2019, and the people of this region continue to retain their exclusive rights on jobs and agricultural land here.
Apni Party’s provincial president Muhammad Ashraf Mir, in his speech said that the lack of political involvement had deprived the Soibugh area of the development.