Monday, July 3, 2017

In TV Interview, Hizbul Mujahideen's Syed Salahuddin Exposes Pakistan's Role In Terror

In TV Interview, Hizbul Mujahideen's Syed Salahuddin Exposes Pakistan's Role In Terror

In TV Interview, Hizbul Mujahideen's Syed Salahuddin Exposes Pakistan's Role In Terror

Islamabad must ensure that internationally-designated terrorists do not find space in Pakistan for their nefarious activities, government officials in New Delhi said today, after Hizbul Mujahideen's Syed Salahuddin, designated a global terrorist by the US last week, boasted in a television interview that his outfit has carried out terror attacks in India.

Salahuddin, who operates out of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, openly exposed Pakistan's role in terror attacks in India when he told Pakistani channel Geo TV that he "can strike anytime, anywhere in India." He said it was easy for him to get weapons in Pakistan for these terror strikes.

Salahuddin has in his own words said what we have been saying for a long time. The designation of global terrorist is well deserved," Home Ministry spokesperson Ashok Prasad said.

The 71-year-old was declared a specially designated global terrorist by the US Department of State last week, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Donald Trump at the White House.

A US statement noted that, "In September 2016, Salahuddin 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"."

Responding to the order, India had said, "It does vindicate India's longest-standing position that cross-border terrorism is behind disturbance created in Kashmir since last year. The outfits that Syed Salahuddin leads, they have perpetuated, from the territory of Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, cross-border terrorism against India including in Kashmir for a number of years."

Pakistan immediately pitched a defence in Salahuddin's favour, calling the US move "completely unjustified".

A Pakistani spokesperson said, "The designation of individuals supporting the Kashmiri right to self-determination as terrorists is completely unjustified," adding in the statement that did not name Salahuddin, "Pakistan shall continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people."

Speaking to local media today, Sartaz Aziz, Foreign Affairs adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said, "We reject Syed Salahuddin being called a global terrorist... Kashmir remains a disputed territory."

At a press conference over the weekend, held amid tight security in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, Salahuddin said he is "freedom fighter and not a terrorist."

Salahuddin is wanted in India for a series of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir that have targeted security forces and civilians. He is from the Budgam district in central Kashmir and had shifted to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir around 1989 from where he played a key role in fuelling militancy in Kashmir for 27 years, training and arming youth before sending them back to the Kashmir Valley.

Salahuddin also heads the United Jihad Council, the umbrella body set up in the mid-1990s to oversee terror outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir.

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