Restore statehood to address simmering political disengagement: Altaf Bukhari

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Altaf Bukhari on Thursday underscored the need for restoration of statehood to J&K to overcome the simmering political disengagement prevalent among people.

Addressing a meeting of the party leaders here, Bukhari remarked that re-establishing J&K as a state would be a practical step to bring good governance, economic development and peace and stability to the region. “The situation in Jammu and Kashmir has reached a stage where people have virtually lost trust with institution of governance and political process,” Bukhari said, adding lack of responsiveness in the government offices has added to the already existing levels of alienation and discontentment among people.

He said any further delay in restoration of statehood can increase feeling of powerlessness, cynicism and lack of confidence in political process, politicians and democratic institutions.

“JKAP reiterates its demand and reminds the country’s leadership of its promise on J&K’s statehood. People are anxiously waiting for the announcement of this decision and sooner the better,” Bukhari said. He urged the J&K government to go for one-time electricity and water usage charges waiver for all small, medium and large commercial and other business establishments, especially in the tourism sector which was in distress since August 5 last year.

“Almost all shopkeepers, traders, and other small, medium and big business units including private schools have been badly hit since August last year while COVID19 pandemic has grossly added to their woes. Deferring the payment of electricity and water usage charges would be injustice with them. We demand that these charges should be waived off for the commercial sector in view of the prevailing circumstances,” Bukhari said.

Expressing concern over growing number of COVID19 fatalities in J&K, he called for all possible efforts by the government in order to minimize the spike in corona cases. He appealed to people to follow social and health guidelines so as to reduce the number of deaths due to the deadly disease.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Dilawar Mir, Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Vijay Bakaya, Manjit Singh, Choudhary Qamar Hussain Mumtaz Ahmad Khan and others.