Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo on Wednesday said his organisation was willing to welcome Kashmiri Pandits back to the Valley, but that it would not compromise on its campaign for self-determination, The Indian Express reported. In an 11-minute video address, Naikoo said the outfit was not composed of terrorists, but true Mujahideen who were fighting for the cause of self-determination.

Naikoo said,"We will welcome them [Kashmiri Pandits] warmly and there is always place for them in our hearts. They are part of our nation. We are their protectors and not their enemies.” Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley following the outbreak of militancy in 1990s.The outfit's leader stressed that India's focus on the development of Kashmir alone would not address the problems of the Valley as they "will not forget the blood of the martyrs."