PDP legislator courts controversy

Jammu: Ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Aijaz Ahmed courted controversy by calling “Kashmiri militants” “martyrs” and “brothers”, batting for talks with separatists, and cautioning against glorifying killing of militants.

“Terrorists, who are from Kashmir are martyrs. Yes, they are our brothers. They are our children,” Aijaz, an MLA from from South Kashmir’s Wachi, said here, adding, “some of them are minors of the age of 14 who don’t even know what they are doing. We should not glorify the killing of terrorists. It is our collective failure.”

He said they are children, who have gone down the wrong track, and should be counseled and brought back.

“We should desist from glorifying the killings of 200 militants. Nearly one lakh people have been killed due to militancy in all these years. Let us bat for talks,” Aijaz said outside the assembly here.

He urged the Centre’s special representative for Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma to talk to everybody in the state. “He should talk to separatists and militants in Kashmir too,” he said.

Aijaz sympathised with the security personnel killed in the state, saying, “We feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well. We should sympathise with the parents of jawans and with the parents of terrorists as well. We want to stop this bloodshed.”

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 difference of ideology.”

Meanwhile, latching onto a PDP MLA’s “Kashmiri militants are martyrs” comment, the Congress also questioned the BJP whether it agrees with what the legislator belonging to its alliance partner.

“It is the PDP MLA who has said this. The PDP is in alliance with the BJP (in Jammu and Kashmir). The BJP will have to tell whether it agrees with what its alliance partner has said,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said, while speaking to reporters.

“Whether the BJP believes that the militants are their brothers and sisters? These are questions the BJP needs to answer. People are awaiting answer,” he said.


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