Apni Party delegation meets Modi, to call on HM
SRINAGAR, Mar 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met a 24 member delegation from Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari at his official residence in New Delhi and assured them that his Government will work with all sections of the population for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an early opportunity.
The Prime Minister told the delegation that the democracy in the region could be strengthened through a fast moving process of political integration.
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Modi engaged with the delegation on various issues like concerns on demographic changes, delimitation exercise and grant of domicile. He assured them that the Government will work with all sections of the population to realize the hopes of Statehood for Jammu and Kashmir at an early opportunity.
He assured the delegation that the Government is committed to economic development of the region through extensive focus on infrastructure development and creating new investment opportunities in sectors like tourism. He assured full support by the Government to resolve all the issues being faced by Jammu & Kashmir.
Speaking on youth empowerment, Modi said that youth should act as catalytic agents for the development of Jammu & Kashmir. He highlighted the importance of skill development and creating new employment opportunities for the youth to bring in an overall transformation of Jammu & Kashmir.
Bukhari told Excelsior that their meeting with the PM lasted for around 100 minutes and this was followed by his 15 minutes one to one meeting with him. The meeting started with around 35 minutes introductory session by Bukhari during which he raised the demands of his party and concerns of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by 30 minutes response by the PM and other members of the delegation also spoke for about 40 minutes.
Bukhari said that they told the PM that one of the major concerns of the people in Kashmir is demographic change. “PM assured us that there is nothing like and it will not happen at all”, he said.
He said that they also raised the issues of domicile status and restoration of Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. “PM assured us that the first issue will be immediately resolved and Statehood will be taken up after the delimitation process in the region is completed”, he said.
Bukhari said that the delegation raised the issue of Forest Act and Tribal laws which have been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. “He assured us that only those laws will be implemented in J&K which suits the region”, he said.
The Apni Party president said that the delegation raised the issue of relaxations for the candidates of the Jammu and Kashmir in UPSC and job security for the youth of the region. “PM assured that the youth will be provided jobs as Government is planning massive industrialization in J&K”, he said.
He said that they raised the issue of revival of economy, tourism, horticulture and agriculture sectors in Jammu and Kashmir to which PM said that his Government is committed to the economic development of the region.
Bukhari said that they raised the issue of all those who are booked under Public Safety Act and lodged in different jails across the country. “PM assured us their release and said that process has already begun”, he said.
He said that they raised the issue of connectivity to far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir including Mughal road, Sadhna, Z-gali and Razdhan Pass tunnels.
Sources said that the delegation told PM that majority community in J&K is feeling disempowered as they are not properly represented in judiciary, police and administration.
Bukhari said that the delegation is meeting Home Minister Amit Shah tomorrow to discuss administration and developmental matters with him. The meeting is scheduled at 11 am tomorrow.
The delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his support and untiring efforts towards the development of Jammu & Kashmir. They also appreciated the efforts of the government, security agencies and the people of Jammu and Kashmir towards maintaining peace and security in the region.