Former PDP leader Syed Altaf Bukhari launches `Apani Party' in Kashmir

Former Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Syed Altaf Bukhari on Sunday announced the launch of a new party, called Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, giving voters in Kashmir yet another option after the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Bhartiya Janatha Party and Congress.

31 leaders from PDP, NC, Congress, including former minister and chairman of People’s Democratic Party Nationalist Ghulam Hassan Mir, Former MLAs of PDP Dilawar Mir, Noor Mohd Sheikh, Ashraf Mir and Former Congress MLAs- Farooq Andrabi, Irfan Naqib and others are expected to join Syed Altaf Bukhari's Apni Party. 
The new outfit has the distinction of being the first to be launched in Jammu and Kashmir after the centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. 
“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,” reports quoted Bukhari as saying while announcing the launch of his own party in Srinagar. 
"We are not here to sell dreams and fantasies but will always be pragmatic, honest and fair in our approach. We have resolved to create a political platform where people are real stakeholders of the political process," Bukhari said at the launch of the party. 
"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.
Sources said the party will anchor itself on the politics of development and that the outfit will have representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, while it is also likely to include the Kashmiri Pandits.
The formation of a political outfit by a former PDP leader -- with the inclusion of leaders from the PDP and NC, and representation from pan Jammu and Kashmir -- could be seen as the beginning of the political process in the region outside of the "family rule party system."
"People here are feeling the absence of credible voices, who can take up their issues and get them sorted," he stressed.