Says, Article 35A Was Against Teachings of Islam
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party President and founding member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Syed Altaf Bukhari has said that the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti turned down his suggestion of amending Article-35A before the government of India revoked special status of the erstwhile state.
In an interview to New Delhi based news portal The Print, Bukhari said that he told former J&K CM to modify Article 35A as it was against the teachings of Islam.
“Islam provides property rights to women, but she (Mehbooba Mufti) didn’t listen,” Bukhari said.
Coming down heavily on the mainstream parties for “hoodwinking” the people and “creating a smokescreen” by demanding the restoration of Article 370, Bukhari said that his party stands for restoration of Article-370 but only the Supreme Court or the Parliament can do so.
“These people met on August 3, 2019 and said we will protect Article 370, which was removed two days later. So the resolution is over. No regional party can do that,” he said.
Bukhari, who held multiple ministerial portfolios during the PDP-BJP alliance government in J&K, said before August 5, they had some idea that “something was going to happen” but didn’t know what it was exactly.
“The PDP leadership also knew. Who will believe that the former CM’s won’t know?” said Bukhari.
The Apni Party President also said that New Delhi decides the politics of Jammu and Kashmir.
“They want people to believe that Apni Party members are agents of Delhi but tell me, since 1947, who has not been an agent of Delhi? I am not accusing them of anything but truth is New Delhi is the seat of power. Delhi decides things,” he said.
“Who decided to make Sheikh Abdullah emergency administrator in 1947? Who decided that he became chief minister in 1975 when Congress was in power? Who decided alliances between NC and Congress, PDP and Congress and then PDP and BJP? Till yesterday, they were saying PDP is the creation of the Intelligence Bureau,” he added.
The former minister also advocated the release of PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, who remains under detention since August 5, 2019.
“A lot of people say that she is staying at her home, that she is in a presidential palace but prison is a prison. Our politics may be different but she should be released,” Bukhari said.
‘Frustrated’: NC Hits Out At Bukhari
Meanwhile National Conference lashed out at Apni Party President Syed Altaf Bukhari for his comments.
In a statement issued to the media here, an NC spokesperson alleged that Apni Party’s singular purpose was to protect the interests of their masters in New Delhi by demeaning collective efforts of Gupkar signatories aimed to restore the Special Status of J&K as guaranteed in the constitution of the country.
Dismissing the assertions of Apni Party President, NC spokesperson said that Bukhari has accepted the abrogation of Art 370 & 35 A as fait accompli and wants J&K people to gulp down the indignation and slur J&K was subjected to.
“NC refuses to do that and has taken upon itself to come with a unified platform in the form of Gupkar declaration to get the state’s special status back. The party has already taken the battle to the Apex Court,” the spokesperson said.
While referring to Bukhari’s claim that the political parties in J&K had premonition about the abrogation of Articles 370, 35A, the NC spokesperson said such unsubstantiated statement reveal his aversion for the widespread unity brought about the endeavors of Farooq Abdullah and various other signatories of Gupkar Declaration.
“Altaf Bukhari has obliquely claimed that he was aware about the planned abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A. Prior to Aug 05 2019, he was a senior member of PDP. Would he care to explain what he was doing about it? Did he try to stop it or warn others about the abrogation? Why did he keep mute?” he said, adding that it seems Bukhari has accepted the Aug 05 decisions.
“Had Altaf Bukhari cared to read the Gupkar Declaration he would not have made such illogical statements. Every time, he speaks, it is either about power or position and government formation. The Gupkar declaration is about restoring J&K’s special position which was illegally, unconstitutionally snatched on 5th Aug 2019,” he said.
“It is not just here in Jammu and Kashmir, that the political parties are striving to protect the legitimate interests of the natives, elsewhere also different political parties have come on a single platform and are speaking in one voice to secure the interests of their people. Only the Apni Party is treading on a path which is detrimental to the interests of the people of J&K. The Gupkar Declaration emphatically represents the mood and feelings of people of J&K while the Apni Party is serving the interests of New Delhi, by weakening the widespread concord on the matter,” he added.
The NC spokesperson further said that Bukhari being “nonplused” by the unity of all the political parties was now “unashamedly taking refuge under Islam as a last resort to save his face value and to protect him from the political bewilderment.”
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.