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An MLA of Jammu and Kashmir's ruling PDP today stoked a controversy when he described Kashmiri militants shot dead in encounters with security forces as "martyrs" and "brothers" and also cautioned against glorifying their killings. Aijaz Ahmed Mir's remarks came as an embarrassment for the party as its alliance partner BJP decried the comments saying these were "absolutely intolerable"and demanded an FIR against him. "Those (terrorists) who are from Kashmir, killed in any situation, are martyrs. They are our brothers. Militants are also our brothers. They are our children. If any child is 11 years to 14 years old, who does not know what he was doing..., Mir told reporters in reply to a question whether he consider as martyrs those terrorists who were killed. In reply to another question whether he considered militants his brothers, the MLA from from South Kashmir's Wachi said, "Of course yes, they (militants) are Kashmiris. They are brothers. Militants are brothers." "I feel how long should it continue? We have killed 200 and 200 have left us. This vicious circle will continue like this. Somewhere it is to be stopped. Somebody has to take the front. Kashmir issue is a political issue.
It should be resolved politically. What will we get if the people keep getting killed with bullets and pellets," he asked. Mir also cautioned against glorifying the killing of militants. "Some people are glorifying the killings of militants. I feel the militants are residents of Jammu and Kashmir. They are our children. Their death should not be celebrated happily. This is our collective failure," he said. He said that they are children and have gone on a wrong track. It is time to counsel and bring them back, Mir said outside the assembly here. He urged the Centre's special representative on J&K Dineshwar Sharma to talk to all in Jammu and Kashmir. Mir also 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 a recent incident when militants hurled a grenade at his residence, the PDP legislator said, "We believe in India and they believe in something else that is why I was attacked. It is a difference of ideology." The BJP condemned Mir's statement with its state spokesman Suni Sethi saying, "It seems that said legislator has lost mental balance to talk in the language of militants and separatists while under oath of constitution as legislator." In a statement, Sethi said such "utterances by the PDP MLA are absolutely intolerable and nobody in the political mainstream can be given liberty to cross line of nationalism". He also demanded immediate lodging of an FIR against Mir and his detention under public safety act. In Delhi, the Congress asked the BJP to come clean on the issue. "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.
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