Kashmir Indepth

Lifting curbs on social media in J&K a good omen: Altaf Bukhari

Reiterates his demand for release of 3 former CMs, political workers

SRINAGAR, March 5: Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday welcomed lifting of curbs on social media networking sites in Jammu and Kashmir saying that the move has come as a good omen before the launch of his party scheduled in next few days.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari said that he is happy for the development as the people especially the youth of J&K were feeling discriminated in absence of being connected with the outside world through the use of modern day technological facilities.

“I look at this development as a good omen for the launch of our party that is scheduled in coming few days. Since lifting of curbs on social media was one of our demands submitted to the government, the people especially our youth now feel relaxed after rewiring with their friends and acquaintances across the globe,” he remarked.  

Bukhari, however, demanded restoration of 4G services on phones and broadband services for optimum utilization of internet facilities by the people particularly the businessmen and the students’ community.  

Bukhari said that the Supreme Court’s verdict on internet restoration had given a sigh of relief to the people of Jammu and Kashmir who suffered tremendously because of communication blockade in last over six months.

“The Honb’le Supreme Court’s verdict vis-a-vis restoration of fundamental rights of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir assumed much significance given the scale of loss suffered by the people especially in education, health and business sectors due to the continuous internet shutdown. The government must honour the apex court verdict and implement the same in letter and spirit without any further delay,” he added.

The former finance minister reiterated his call for immediate release of three former chief ministers and other political workers who are detained in and outside Jammu and Kashmir.

 “I don’t think there is any reason or rationale behind continuing detention of the three former chief ministers like Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Similarly, other political workers, who are in jails, should also be released to make the situation more conducive for political process in J&K,” Bukhari demanded.

To win over the confidence of the people of Jammu and Kashmiri, Bukhari observed that the Government of India should accord a positive consideration to the other demands put forth by his delegation in the shape of a memorandum submitted to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir on January 7, 2020 at Jammu.

“We are of firm belief that the economic development can take place only if there is normalcy and stability in the region. Need of the hour is to rebuild an atmosphere of trust and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir. That can only happen when the main apprehensions among people of Jammu and Kashmir are allayed in a just and humane manner,” Bukhari said while urging for implementation of his other demands at an earliest.

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