Ahead of officially launching 'J&K Apni Party', former PDP leader Altaf Bukhari highlighted the challenges in Jammu and Kashmir as he assured his strong will the people of the valley. Businessman-turned-politician, Bukhari initiated the third front following the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 in the Parliament last year. He was then joined by an array of politicians hailing from varied parties across Jammu and Kashmir including NC, PDP, Congress and the BJP.
Aiming to provide relief to the people "facing challenges since August 5 last year," former People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Syed Altaf Bukhari launched his own new political party called the 'Jammu and Kashmir Apni (own) Party' (JKAP).
"It is a very happy occasion that finally we have come up with our party known as Apni Party. It puts a lot of responsibility on us as the expectations and challenges are huge. I assure people of Jammu and Kashmir that my will is strong to surmount these challenges in the interest of my people," Bukhari told ANI.
"After August 5, a lot has changed. People are in despair, tourism is reduced to zero and local industries have closed down. In that view, challenges are very huge. It is an endeavour to see how we can restore the semblance of these things," he added.
The party was launched especially on the occasion of International Women's Day. Thirty-one political leaders are expected to join the party, including those from PDP, National Conference (NC) and the Congress, sources added. Some of them include Dilawar Mir, Noor Mohd Sheikh, Yawar Mir, Zafar Iqbal Manhas and other former MLAs from PDP; Usman Majeed, Aijaz Khan, Mumtaz Khan and Shoaib Nabi Lone from Congress; Vijay Bakaya, Syed Asgar Ali and Kamal Arora from NC.
Further stressing on the focus of the newly-formed political party, Bukhari stressed that confidence-building measures between New Delhi and Srinagar needed to be restored. "People here are feeling the absence of credible voices, who can take up their issues and get them sorted," he stressed.
Syed Altaf Bukhari, former PDP leader in Srinagar: It is a very happy occasion that finally we have come up with our party known as Apni Party. It puts a lot of responsibility on us as the expectations&challenges are huge. I assure people of Jammu & Kashmir that my will is strong pic.twitter.com/xbvOXxp8FH— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2020
The launch of this political party is seen as the first political activity in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. The Centre has been desperate to fill the political vacuum in the erstwhile state of J&K since the Abrogation.
According to the leaders of the Apni Party, the primary aim of forming a new political party is to “provide relief to people who have been facing uncertainty since August 5, last year.”