Srinagar : President J&K Apni Party Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday said that the enduring violence, over the past more than thirty years, has damaged the interests of J&K to its core. He said the gun culture has stopped the growth of J&K in terms of its development .
According to the statement issued by the party here, Bukhari while addressing a public rally at Kupwara said that only a peaceful environment can bring J&K out of the prevailing uncertainty and chaos.
He said, “For a better future for our youth, we need sustained peace and tranquillity in J&K. We cannot expect a better future unless we get rid of the violence and evil politics. If we have peace here, we can have prosperity and development which will eventually make the future of our youth prosperous and protected.” He said that gun has ruined J&K in terms of loss of lives and the well-being of the people. He said, “We have lost around 1.5 lakh people, mostly youngsters to the violence here during the past thirty years. Also, J&K has got its growth in terms of development and prosperity blocked due to the violence.”
“Almighty has bestowed Kupwara with huge potential and natural resources, had these resources been harnessed over the years and decades this would have been the most developed place in J&K,” He said and added, “We have huge deposits of marble, but the marble manufacturing units are halted here since the phase of violence started in J&K. This is how violence hinders the economic growth of the people and closes the employment opportunities.”
He further said that Kupwara has its significance because of its important geographical location. This district should not have been in this pathetic condition. The leaders who have claimed to be the representative of the Kupwara people have even failed to develop the infrastructure for the district hospital here. We have several places in Kupwara that can be developed as tourist places. One of such places is Bungus Valley, but we have not developed road connectivity to this beautiful place over the past 75 years. We do not have a reliable road to Sadhna Pass here.” Bukhari strongly condemned the recent attack on two Kashmiri Pandit brothers in south Kashmir’s Shopian. He said, “The victims along with their families had chosen not to migrate from their motherland. They lived side by side with their Muslim brethren in their village, yet some beasts in human garb fired on two brothers killing one Sunil Kumar and injuring another Pitambar while they were working in their orchard. This brutal act of violence is shameful and inhuman.” Bukhari also demanded the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Stripping of J&K’s autonomy and statehood was an unfortunate occurrence. But we believe that the Prime Minister and Home Minister of the country will fulfill their commitment to the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, and Apni Party will keep striving for getting this status back to J&K.” On this occasion, people in the rally raised slogans reiterating the demand for statehood for J&K. Bukhari also promised that Apni Party will continue its efforts to get J&K and its people politically empowered. He said, “We will continue to work for the political empowerment of J&K people. It is sad to see that decision-making institutions lack the participation of the J&K people in them —which signifies disempowerment of J&K people.”
Reiterating his promises Bukhari said, “We are committed to the people of J&K that we will make several initiatives to ensure economic dividends to every household here. We will provide up to 500 units of electricity free in winter months to the Valley consumers, the same amount of free power to people in Jammu during summers, and 300 units of free electricity to the people in the Valley in summers and to Jammu people in winters.” He further said, “Similarly, we will enhance the present Rs 50,000 marriage assistance to the girls up to one lakh rupees, and the monthly widow and old age pension up to rupees five thousand from existing one thousand rupees.” “Also, we will give four free gas refills annually to every household in J&K.” He added.
Political leaders react sharply to reports that ordinary residents can vote in J&K elections
Srinagar: Political leaders of Jammu & Kashmir have sharply reacted to reports that people ordinarily residing in Jammu and Kashmir even for purposes of work can cast vote in the next assembly election in the Union Territory, accusing the BJP of tilting the balance in its favour.
”Is the BJP so insecure about support from genuine voters of J&K that it needs to import temporary voters to win seats? None of these things will help the BJP when the people of J&K are given a chance to exercise their franchise,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted.
He was reacting to media reports which claimed that people who are ordinarily residing in Jammu and Kashmir — for work, business or education — can vote in the next assembly elections.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the real aim of the process was to disempower the local population.
”GOIs decision to defer polls in J&K preceded by egregious gerrymandering tilting the balance in BJPs favour & now allowing non locals to vote is obviously to influence election results. Real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” Mufti said.
People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone termed the move as ”dangerous” and said it will be ”disastrous”.
”This is dangerous. I don’t know what they want to achieve. This is much more than a mischief. Democracy is a relic especially in the context of Kashmir. Please remember 1987. We r yet to come out of that. Don’t replay 1987. It will be as disastrous,” Lone tweeted.
There are allegations of mass rigging in the 1987 Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election that is believed to be one of the causes behind the rise of militancy in the erstwhile state in the 1980s.