Militants Too Martyrs, Says PDP MLA

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Amid ruckus in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly over the killing of a civilian and alleged human rights violations, PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmed Mir on Thursday said that killing of both, the terrorists and the security forces, is "sad".

"Militants who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers, some of them are minors who don't even know what they are doing", Aijaz Ahmed Mir told the media.

Mir, who hails from a militancy-infested area, said the time has come to talk to the Hurriyat, militants and other stakeholders to resolve the Kashmir issue and end the violence and bloodshed in the region.

Adding fuel to the controversy, the Wachi MLA added that the deaths of militants must not be celebrated and people should sympathise with parents of militants along with jawans. "It is a collective failure", Mir argued.

To a poser on local militants, he said, "Call them militants or terrorists, but they are Kashmiris, they are our brothers".

"If we do no believe in the Constitution of J&K or of the nation, then what would you achieve". The PDP is in alliance with the BJP (in Jammu and Kashmir).

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Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was quoted by DNA as saying, "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development, and peace". "He should talk to separatists and militants in Kashmir too", he said. Yes, they are our brothers.

BJP leader and lawmaker Ravinder Raina said, "It is ridiculous, I condemn this statement". If a sitting legislator has said it, it certainly calls for an enquiry, he added.

The MLA also sought to strike a balance, claiming party leaders " also do not want security force men to die".

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His comments were denounced by the BJP, which partners the PDP or People's Democratic Party in Kashmir.

"There can be ideological clashes between them and us".

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