United States adds Kashmir militant group to terrorism blacklists

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

The US had in June declared Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan based chief of Hizbul Mujahideen as a global terrorist.

The State Department designation bans U.S. citizens and residents from dealing with the group and any assets found to belong to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in areas under USA jurisdiction will be frozen.

Several armed rebel groups are fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir, with tens of thousands of people, majority civilians, killed in the almost three decades-old conflict.

"These designations seek to deny HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks", it said.

"Today's action notifies the US public and the global community that HM is a terrorist organization". Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the United States financial system. "Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of USA agencies and other governments", it added.

The State Department designation bans U.S. citizens and residents from dealing with the group, and any assets found to belong to the Hizbul Mujahideen in areas under USA jurisdiction will be frozen. Two other anti-India groups, Indian Mujahideen (2011) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (2016) are also in the list. Salahuddin is based in Pakistan but the HM is active in Indian Kashmir.

Almost 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

It further said, "Whereas it is incumbent upon the worldwide community including the USA to honour this commitment made to the people of J&K that they would be granted the right of self-determination to decide their future and seek the settlement of the dispute which is bleeding Kashmiris each day and has led to their genocide under brutal Indian occupation besides making J&K the world's highest militarized zone with over eight lake Indian forces stationed here to keep the people captive".

The Department has designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Act and Immigration and Nationality Act.

The announcement came almost two months after the state department declared the Hizb's chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.

A statement from the US Department of State had then said that Salahuddin had "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".

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

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