Srinagar, Jul 1
The US State Department has said that the designation of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist does not reflect a change in the US policy on Kashmir, a media report today said.
“Our policy on Kashmir has not changed,” said a State Department spokesperson when asked if the designation indicated a change in the US policy on Kashmir, which Washington sees as a disputed territory, the report added
On June 26, the State Department declared Salahuddin, whose real name is Mohammad Yusuf Shah, a “specially designated global terrorist”.
The designation order claimed 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’”.
The order also noted that under Salahuddin’s tenure as senior Hizbul Mujahideen leader, the group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir”, which injured 17 people.
The State Department also notified the international community that Salahuddin, “has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism”.
The reference to the need for “a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict” and the description of the territory as “Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir,” — although largely ignored in Pakistan — was noted by opposition parties in India.
“Shocking that US government order on Syed Salahuddin refers to ‘Indian Administered J&K’. No protest from Modi government. Complicit sell-out?” tweeted Randeep Surjewala, a spokesman for India’s main opposition party, the Congress.