USA designates Hizbul Mujahideen as a Global Terrorist Group

Syed Salahuddin is the current chief of the now-declared terrorist organisation. twitter

Syed Salahuddin is the current chief of the now-declared terrorist organisation. twitter

This is particularly important because even as the USA has shown a willingness to target anti-India terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan, it had hesitated to show the same willingness for a Kashmiri terror group.

Hizbul Mujahideen is the largest of Kashmir's militant groups.

"Hizbul Mujahideen is led by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin". The group is one of the two most active Pakistan-based terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, and has claimed responsibility for several terror attacks.

The Hizb joins the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba on the USA list of foreign terrorist organisations designated in 2001. "Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of United States agencies and other governments".

Pakistan has denied giving material help to Kashmiri separatists but has pledged to provide continued diplomatic and moral support. "Such designations expose and isolate "terrorist" groups and individuals and assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments", it said.

The order was passed under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1 (b) of Executive Order (EO) 13224.

All of Hizbul Mujahideen's property and interests subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and people in the USA are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group. The announcement had come just hours before the much-awaited meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at the White House.

Hizbul, considered to the largest indigenous militancy group in Jammu & Kashmir, was founded back in September 1989.

The order provides a means to disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the U.S. government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.

The designations also serve notice to China, which has consistently thwarted India's - and American - efforts to have the United Nations ban Pakistan-based Jaish-E-Mohammed terrorist Masood Azhar. The terror tag on the outfit would come as a blow to Pakistan, whose top leaders have openly described Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in a gunfight past year, as a martyr.

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