Terrorists in J&K are martyrs, we shouldn’t celebrate their death: PDP MLA

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New Delhi: Aijaz Ahmed Pir, a Popular Democratic Party (PDP) MLA, courted the controversy on Thursday when he said that terrorism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are martyrs.

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. “The terrorists who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers,” said Pir. “Some of them are minors who do not even know what they’re doing, we should not celebrate the murder of terrorists, it’s our collective failure.”

However, Pir also sympathized with the security personnel killed in the battle against terrorism. “We feel sad when our security forces are also martyred, we should sympathize with the parents of the security jawans and the parents of the terrorists too,” he said.

His comments, however, provoked a strong reaction from BJP, which is in partnership with PDP in the state. “Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmir, development and peace, how can they be someone’s brothers?” asked Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

J & K cheif Minister Mehbooba Mufti said a day earlier that her government is working to convince young people in the state not to derail. “The boys glorify themselves by holding their arms in their hands and carrying the image on social networks, and my effort is for the local militants to return,” he said. The PDP chief also thanked the parents who, she said, are playing an increasingly active role in ensuring that their children do not take up arms. “We are grateful to the parents who are appealing to their pupils to return from the path of militancy, many young people have returned and we are not harassing them, we are happy that they come back.”