Kashmiri militants killed by Indian forces are 'martyrs', says PDP MLA

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A lawmaker from Jammu and Kashmir's ruling Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday said slain militants were "martyrs" and nobody should celebrate their death, prompting the Opposition to claim that ally BJP was behind such statements in a bid to improve their image. Mir said that killings of terrorists in the state should not be celebrated while calling incidents of teenagers joining terror groups as a collective failure.

PDP legislator Aijaz said all kinds of killings, including those of militants, should stop, as "anybody who is a Kashmiri is a brother, including militants". The PDP leader, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, further termed it as a "collective failure". "We should sympathize with parents of security jawans and with parents of terrorists as well", he said. If you have noticed we haven't put up a paywall unlike many news organisations, - as we want to keep our journalism open.

Days earlier, the party's chief spokesperson, Rafi Ahmad Mir, had expressed regret over the deaths of militants and said there was nothing wrong if party leaders met the families of the slain rebels to offer condolences.

He said, "Be that militant, or any one, they are Kashmiris, they are our brothers".

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His comments, however, drew a sharp reaction from BJP which is in alliance with PDP in the State. In a stinging response, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development and peace". "He should talk to separatists and militants in Kashmir too", he said.

Mir's statement comes a day after state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that her government has vowed to break the "vicious cycle" of youth taking up arms.

"Aijaz Ahmed has insulted the security forces and will of the nation to fight militancy, and if he has sympathy with militants then he should leave mainstream politics, he added".

If everyone who reads our reporting, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure and we will be able to keep our and your perspective going. The PDP is in alliance with the BJP (in Jammu and Kashmir). "We are happy that they are coming back".