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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Altaf Bukhari slams BJP, says no peace but ‘graveyard silence’ in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir have no peace but just “graveyard silence”, Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari said on Saturday, as he accused the BJP of selling the region’s resources to outsiders, all of whom, he asserted, will have to “wind up and go” after a popular government is formed.

He also accused the BJP of using Kashmiri migrant pandits as an “election material”, and invited the community to live with them in their homes before the party ensures their re-settlement at their own places.

“People in J&K are worried as (government) policies are making their lives miserable… the youth are suffering and they are being driven towards taking to arms or drugs,” Bukhari, a former minister, who was being dubbed as BJP’s ally in Kashmir, said.

Flanked by senior party colleagues and former ministers including Ghulam Hassan Mir, Usman Majid, and Dilawar Mir, the Apni Party president said over 10 lakh people are directly or indirectly linked to the mining sector but leases were granted to contractors from outside.

“These are our resources and should have been reserved for the people of J&K. When there will be a popular government, all of them have to wind up and go from here,” he said.

He attacked BJP for its alleged failure to re-settle Kashmiri pandits in the valley and said “the government is using them as election material like posters and banners”.

On a question about the re-settlement of the pandits in the valley, he said, “I am of the belief that unless Kashmiri Muslims welcome them with an open heart, the rest of others (talking about their resettlement) are only showing them lollipops.” Pointing towards his colleagues, he said, “We all belong to the valley and appeal to the community to start living with us in our homes. We assure you of re-settling at your own places thereafter.” He asked the government to allow normal prayers at Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar and other places of worship which are still closed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Asked about his opinion of the situation in Kashmir, he said that considering different aspects one can say that it is not a peaceful situation, but graveyard silence prevails there.

“There is a need for restoration of political set up at the earliest to provide relief to the people. Our traders are suffering and people are worried,” he said.

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