The United States on Monday designated Syed Salahuddin, chief of Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, a global terrorist, PTI reported. The announcement came hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Donald Trump in Washington DC. Salahuddin now joins Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim in the list of global terrorists.
Ministry of External Affairs’ Spokesperson Gopal Baglay welcomed the designation and said that this vindicated India’s long-standing position on Pakistan-based cross-border terrorism. “It also underlines quite strongly that both US and India face the threat of terrorism, and terrorism knows no boundaries,” Bagley said in a statement.
The US State Department declared Salahuddin a “specially designated global terrorist” following Modi’s meetings with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis in Washington on Monday. The statement said that in September 2016, Salahuddin had vowed “to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir valley into a graveyard for Indian forces”.
“Department of State has designated Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224,” a statement issued by the US State Department said. The designation imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.
The Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks under Salahuddin’s leadership, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people, The Times of India reported.