Pakistan decries US decision to declare Hizbul Mujahideen a terrorist group

  • Group’s 71-year-old leader Salahuddin was labelled as global terrorist on June 26

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday expressed sadness on the recent move of the United States to name Hizbul Mujahideen a specially designated global terrorist group, Dawn News reported.

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria during his weekly press briefing said the decision is “saddening”. He added that Kashmiris have been struggling for their right of self-determination for the past 70 years.

Indian atrocities continue in occupied Kashmir, he highlighted, adding that the Kashmir issue, which is a bone of contention between the two countries should be settle through dialogue.

Zakaria said that the US has always hailed efforts made by Pakistan to eliminate terrorism, besides appreciating relations with Pakistan.

The enlisting of Hizbul Mujahideen as a terrorist group would ultimately put pressure on Pakistan to take action against it.

On Wednesday, the US named Hizb-ul-Mujahideen a terrorist group, a little more than 50 days after adding its chief Syed Salahuddin to its list of designated global terrorists.

 “Today’s action notifies the US public and the international community that Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is a terrorist organisation,” the US state department said in a statement, adding such designations expose and isolate terrorist groups and individuals, and “assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments”.

The US had named the group’s 71-year-old leader Salahuddin alias Mohammad Yusuf Shah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on June 26, just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Donald Trump at the White House.

The designation of the Hizb came two days after the two leaders spoke on phone — Trump called to congratulate Modi on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence and announced the setting up of a new dialogue mechanism to elevate the strategic ties between the two countries.