Pakistan has termed as “saddening” the United States’ decision to designate Hizbul Mujahideen as a terrorist group .

Foreign Office spokesperson  Nafees Zakaria while addressing a weekly media briefing, said that “Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination has been rightfully continuing for the past 70 years.”

“Indian occupation forces had used excessive force against people in India-held Kashmir and they are continuing to do so,” Pakistani media quoted him as saying.

The US Department of State announced on Wednesday that it had designated Hizb  as a foreign terrorist organisation and as a specially designated global terrorist, freezing any assets it may hold in the country and prohibiting Americans from any dealings with it.

Zakaria said the US has always appreciated Pakistan’s sacrifices in counter-terrorism efforts and  has repeatedly said that it appreciates its relations with Pakistan.

He further said that the primary issue in Pakistan-India relations is that of Kashmir “which has to be resolved through dialogue”.

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