Aijaz Ahmed Pir, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA, courted controversy on Thursday when he said 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. “Terrorists who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers,” said Pir. “Some of them are minors who don’t even know what they are doing. We should not celebrate the killing of terrorists. It is our collective failure.”
Pir however also sympathised with security personnel killed in the battle against terrorism. “We feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well. We should sympathize with parents of security jawans and with parents of terrorists as well,” he said.
His comments, however, drew a sharp reaction from BJP which is in alliance with PDP in the state. “Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development and peace. How can they be someone’s brother?” asked Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti a day earlier had said that her government is working on convincing youth in the state to not go astray. “Young boys get glorified by taking arms in their hand and uploading the picture on social media sites. My effort is that the local militants should get back,” she had said. The PDP chief also thanked parents who, she said, are increasingly playing an active role in ensuring their children do not take up arms. “We are thankful to the parents who are appealing to their wards to return from the path of militancy. Many a youth had returned and we are not harassing them. We are happy that they are coming back.”