Jammu and Kashmir's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Aijaz Ahmed Mir has triggered a huge row by describing Kashmiri militants as "martyrs".
"We should not celebrate the killings of militants, it is our collective failure, we feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well, we should sympathise with parents of jawans and with parents of militants as well", he added.
Mir on Thursday said that Kashmiri militants, who are killed in encounters are "martyrs". The PDP MLA further stated that the country must not celebrate the killings of the militants, even while the people should condemn the deaths of the Indian Army soldiers.
Asked about the recent incident when militants hurled a grenade on his residence, the PDP MLA said, "we believe in India and they believe in something else that is why I was attacked. It is a collective failure", Mir argued.
"We killed 200 (militants) but 200 more (militants) joined militancy (last year)", he said. It is glorifying terrorism, you are playing with fire... These are questions the BJP and PDP need to answer.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was quoted by DNA as saying, "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development, and peace".
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Mir's statement has not gone down well with the party's ally Bharatiya Janata Party. Stating that he considers "slain militants as martyrs" the PDP MLA said, "Jo Kashmir ke hein, chahey kisi bhi halat mein marein, woh martyr hein".
Nowshera BJP MLA Ravinder Raina demanded that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti penalise her party's lawmaker for his "sensational statement".
"They are our children and we should not be happy over their deaths".
He said, "Be that militant, or any one, they are Kashmiris, they are our brothers".
"There can be ideological clashes between them and us".
"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".