January 2021 News

Altaf Bukhari Led Apni Party Submits Memorandum To PM, Seek Restoration Of Statehood

25 January 2021

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party led By Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding some key issues pertaining to the people of Jammu & Kashmir including Restoration of Statehood, Youth Employment Policy, Restoration of Internet, Honourable Return of Kashmiri Pandits, Restoration of Internet, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, Rising Airfare and other issues. Bukhari in his memorandum to PM has expressed gratitude and thankfulness for fulfilling many points raised in our earlier meeting dated March 14, 2020. 'However, there are some critical issues which were discussed during our previous meeting that are of the utmost importance for the socio-economic and political empowerment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and these are yet to be accorded consideration. I would once again like to reiterate and request for your consideration on the same,' the memorandum reads which lies with KNS. Regarding restoration of Statehood, 'This is the first and foremost demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are eagerly waiting for its fulfillment. Statehood is a reference to the glorious past and a privilege for solidification of the idea of pluralism and respectful coexistence in Jammu & Kashmir like any other State in our country. For keeping up this spirit and allowing a cultural mosaic to continue, restoration of this privileged status including establishment of a Legislative Council should be done as per the commitment made on the floor of Parliament, 'it said according to a KNS correspondent. He has also sought Employment Policy for youth of J&K, 'Youth in Jammu & Kashmir are extremely alienated due to multiple reasons. This alienation makes most of them an easy fodder for those elements who want to foment trouble in the region. We cannot afford loss of another generation which otherwise can be addressed with a meaningful engagement with the youth and their aspirations. The need of the hour is that a comprehensive youth employment policy is framed and implemented in letter and spirit. There is an alarming rise in the unemployment in Jammu & Kashmir and ways and means can be explored that this pressing problem is addressed through roping in multinational companies across the country and in the overseas Gulf countries which can absorb a major chunk of qualified and skilled youth.' He has asked Govt to restore 4G in all the areas of J&K, 'Restoration of 4G mobile internet speed is limited to just two districts of Jammu & Kashmir. The ban on 4G mobile internet is nearing completion of two years. This unjustifiable ban on mobile internet has caused huge inconvenience to the people especially students and traders' community in Jammu & Kashmir. The government must review its decision and lift the ban on high speed mobile internet so that people can avail the benefits of modern-day data and telecommunication facilities like other citizens of the country. Continuing with this unjustified ban based on unfounded security concerns should be done away with.' Bukhari has sought Honorable Return of Kashmiri Pandits with dignity, ' Kashmiri Pandits are an inseparable part of Jammu & Kashmir's pluralistic ethos. Unfortunately, living like refugees in their own country, they have been demanding rehabilitation with dignity.The Central Government should make special efforts to ensure that Kashmiri Pandits return to the land of their ancestors with full dignity and an assured livelihood. The policy in this regard needs to be framed in such a way that their return does not create any divisions within the society. For formulation and implementation of such a policy the other communities in Jammu & Kashmir need to be kept on board.' Saying that Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is a source of perpetual distress for the people of the region especially during winters, Bukhari said, 'The dilapidated condition of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway-being the Valley's only land connectivity with rest of the country, has been a source of perpetual distress for the people of the region especially during winters.A major portion of this highway is landslide prone, slippery and dangerous. The Highway needs to be developed urgently and till that work is accomplished, Dakota services should be a permanent feature for a hassle-free connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar,' he wrote. He added, 'Similarly, the Government of India needs to focus on the inter-regional connectivity across Jammu and Kashmir. Making Mughal road an all-weather road by construction of a much needed tunnel besides developing Sinthan Top will provide a dependable alternative to the people of Jammu & Kashmir to travel between the two capitals of the erstwhile State. Similarly, there is a dire need of construction of a tunnel at Sadhna top for hassle free connectivity in North Kashmir.' 'The perpetual closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway gives rise to the skyrocketing hike in airfare. The Ministry of Civil Aviation needs to put a cap on airfare from Jammu-Srinagar and vice versa and Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country. This will not only boost and promote the tourism sector but will also provide a sigh of relief to the people of J&K who suffer immensely because of exorbitant airfares,' letter reads. Apni party Chief has also sought restoration of age relaxation for Jammu &Kashmir's UPSC aspirants 'The government's recent decision of scrapping the age relaxation clause to the domicile of Jammu & Kashmir with effect from January 1, 2020 is most unfortunate. Youth Empowerment should be the prime goal of the current political dispensation within Jammu & Kashmir. Contrarily there is a general perception among Jammu &Kashmir youth that they are not a priority for the country's leadership. Scrapping the UPSC age relaxation clause has turned the local youth to a state of disconcertment. Legitimately, the age relaxation clause of 5 years to the domicile of Jammu &Kashmir must continue in its original form which is from the period of its inception, circa 1995, as it compensates to the period lost to violence, terrorism and conflict,' it reads. 'Pertinently, the original clause of age relaxation would have terminated on its own on 31st December 31, 2026. The untimely scrapping, just a few years in advance is unfair, prejudiced and biased. Taking away such a benefit from the disadvantaged population of Jammu & Kashmir cannot be justified. Thus, I solicit the intervention of your good self so that the age relaxation clause is restored in its original form,' it added. He has also sought Construction of Bunkers for people living near firing range on LOC, ' Construction of concrete bunkers for hapless people near firing range in Karnah, Tangdhar, Keran, Uri and areas of Jammu province should be among the government's top priorities as these border areas are vulnerable to frequent border skirmishes which result in death and destruction of properties. Though a speedy action was assured at the highest level, no purpose centric forward movement seems in this direction. There is a feeling that even this human tragedy is not free from lopsided treatment.' He hopes that 'the above-mentioned points will be accorded a favorable consideration in accordance with the wishes and aspiration of people of Jammu and Kashmir. I once again thank you for your support.'