New Delhi: A lawmaker of Jammu and Kashmir's ruling PDP has controversially described terrorists as "our brothers and martyrs" whose death should not be celebrated. Aijaz Ahmad Mir repeated today what he had declared in the state assembly yesterday.
"The militants belong to Jammu and Kashmir, they are our children. We should not celebrate their killing," said Mr Mir, who represents the Watchi constituency in Kashmir's Shopian.
When reporters pressed him on whether he believed that the terrorists were "brothers and martyrs", as he had said in the House, Mr Mir replied, "Of course".
He added that he "also sympathized with the security forces and parents of soldiers who were killed."
Yesterday, he had said in the assembly that the government should hold talks with all parties concerned, including separatists, to resolve the Kashmir issue.
The lawmaker was himself a target just three months ago, when militants had thrown a grenade at his home. No one was injured.
Reminded of that attack, Mr Mir said today: "That can be because of an ideological clash."
His comments were denounced by the BJP, which partners the PDP or People's Democratic Party in Kashmir.
"It is ridiculous, I condemn this statement. It is glorifying terrorism, you are playing with fire...Go and ask families of those who lost people to terror in the past 30 years. This is rubbing salt into the wounds of relatives of those killed in Pakistan-sponsored terror," said BJP leader and lawmaker Ravinder Raina.
Opposition national conference has hit out at PDP saying this shows PDP is a party of contradictions, senior national conference leader Akbar Lone said,
"There is a contradiction in the PDP, on one side they kill militants and on the other hand such a statement coming from the PDP MLA, this contradicts CM Mehbooba Mufti's assembly statement"