Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin, who has been branded as a ‘global terrorist’ by the United States, admitted in a TV interview to having carried out terror attacks on Indian soil.
Salahuddin was designated as a ‘global terrorist’ by the United States on June 26, hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington.
“Till now our focus was on Indian occupation forces. All the operations that we have done or are underway, we focus only on the installations of these occupational forces,” Salahuddin said.
The Hizbul Mujahideen chief, who claimed to have many supporters in India, admitted to carrying out many “operations” in the country, adding that he could strike India “at any time”.
Two days ago it was reported that Salahuddin said at a Saturday rally in Muzaffarabad that his “fighters’ attacks were on legitimate military targets as opposed to civilians”, reported Pakistani newspaper Nation.
Asserting that Kashmir was his ‘home’, the Hizbul chief stated that the Valley was witnessing an uprising since the killing of Burhan Wani.
Further revealing that he has many supporters in India, Salahuddin admitted to purchasing weapons from international markets, adding that he has the capacity to deliver weapons at any place if he is paid for it.
“If we would have taken our operations out of Kashmir at that time, India would get a chance to label Kashmir-e-Tehreek a terrorist organisation. We have support and we can target any place in India, at any time,” he said, during the interview. He explained that the international scene has changed since 9/11. He added he purchases weapons from the international market.
In a statement, the US State Department had said: “Department of State has designated Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as (AKA) Syed Salahuddin, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. .”
The US cannot provide a single example of when I and other Kashmiri fighters committed any act of terrorism,” he said, addressing the media at the Centre Press Club in Muzaffarabad. “Kashmiri freedom fighters have a code of conduct to not harm minorities, the elderly, children and women, and if sometimes the enemy offers a peace deal, we accept it.”
“It vindicates India’s longstanding position that cross-border terrorism is behind the crisis created in Kashmir, especially since last year. It underlines strongly the fact that both India and the US face the threat of terrorism and are working together to counter this threat. Terrorism knows no boundaries,” said external affairs ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay minutes after news of the state department’s notification broke.