The Pakistani Taliban have contended that those opposed to referring to dead militants as martyrs are like people who dont want cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar to be praised because he is an Indian.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Shahidullah Shahid made the remark in a clip posted online,while responding to criticism of Jamaat-e-Islam chief Munawar Hasan,who had described slain commander Hakimullah Mehsud as a shaheed (martyr).
Some people may say Tendulkar may be a very good player but dont talk about his greatness because that is against Pakistani nationhood. And these people say (Pakistan captain) Misbah-ul-Haq,even if he is a bad player,should be praised because he is a Pakistani. So those who are criticising Munawar Hasan are behaving like this, he said.
Shahid made it clear he was using Tendulkar as an example while speaking about the medias coverage of the controversy over the Jamaat chiefs statement on Mehsud,who was killed in a US drone strike on November 1.
He claimed Pakistani soldiers fighting for the US were being called martyrs while Taliban fighters fighting for Islam were not referred to in the same manner.
The Pakistan Army reacted angrily to the Jamaat chiefs praise of Mehsud,saying he should apologise to families of soldiers who died fighting terrorists.
Tendulkars recent retirement from international cricket was extensively covered by the Pakistani media and his last speech was beamed live in the country.