Militants are martyrs: PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir

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MLA Aijaz Ahmed Pir courted controversy on Thursday when he said terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is our collective failure and terrorists who are from Kashmir are martyrs. "Jo Kashmir ke hein, chahey kisi bhi halat mein marein, woh martyr hein [Those who hail from Kashmir are martyrs irrespective of what circumstances they get killed in]". "How can they be someone's brother", he told a news channel. We should not glorify the killing of terrorists. The PDP leader, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, further termed it as a "collective failure".

Last week, Rafi Ahmad Mir, the PDP's chief spokesperson, had said the party condemned and regretted the killings of both policemen and militants. Almost one lakh people have been killed due to militancy in all these years.

Urging state, central and Pakistan government for initiation of talks, Mir said this is the high time for talks, so that this imbroglio should be end. "We should sympathize with parents of security jawans and with parents of terrorists as well", he said. "We want to stop this bloodshed". The deaths of militants should not be politicised or celebrated, The Indian Express quoted him as saying. "It is a difference of ideology".

Mir's statement has not gone down well with the party's ally Bharatiya Janata Party.

Speaking to members of the press, Pir said that many militants active in the state are minors and are not aware of the consequences of their action.

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Just a day before on Wednesday, Mir had termed Kashmir militants as his brothers.

"It is the PDP MLA who has said this".

His comments, however, drew a sharp reaction from BJP which is in alliance with PDP in the state.

While Minister of State for Transport and BJP MLA Sunil Sharma said that no one can describe a slain militant as "martyr". These are questions the BJP needs to answer. "People are waiting for the answer", he added. In a stinging response, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development and peace".