With the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) treasurer and former Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Altaf Bukhari proposing an alliance with archrival National Conference (NC), a new political force seems to be taking shape in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

The NC too has hinted its “doors are open” to anyone who seeks to strengthen Article 370 and Article 35A.

“We joined hands with the BJP in the interests of Kashmir. Now the PDP and NC should join hands to defend Article 35A and Article 370,” Bukhari remarked, responding to a query. “If the Government of India has the agenda to disempower the Kashmiris, we (NC and PDP) should join hands. We have the numbers too,” he told The Tribune.

The NC chief spokesperson, Aga Ruhullah, pointed out that the party had offered support to the PDP after the 2014 elections but the offer was declined. However, former NC minister Kangan Mian Altaf said his party was open to a “joint struggle” but any decision on a PDP pact would be taken by Omar Abdullah alone.