Who is Syed Salahuddin, chief of Hizbul Mujahideen?

Hours before the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, US State Department designated Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. Here is everything you need to know about Syed Salahuddin.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 30, 2017 2:06 pm
Syed Salahuddin, supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, addresses his supporters in Muzaffarabad. AP Photo

In a strong message to Pakistan, for sponsoring terrorism, the United States on Monday designated the leader of Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin, as a “global terrorist”, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump. The move comes as a huge blow to Pakistan which has been projecting Salahuddin as a “freedom fighter”.

India welcomed the move and said it will vindicate India’s stance on cross-border terrorism. Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Gopal Baglay, in a statement, said, “This vindicates India’s long-standing position that cross-border terrorism has been behind the long-standing disturbance in Kashmir since last year, and the outfits he leads perpetuates cross-border terrorism against India from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.” Describing terrorism as “global menace”, Baglay added terrorism knows no boundaries. “It also underlines quite strongly that both US and India face threat of terrorism, and terrorism knows no boundaries and is a global menace,” he said.

Here is everything you need to know about Syed Salahuddin:

Who is Syed Salahuddin?

Mohammad Yusuf Shah, 71, alias Syed Salahuddin, is the head of Kashmiri militant faction Hizbul Mujahideen. A native of Budgam district in central Kashmir, Salahuddin is known to operate out of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he moved to in 1989. He is known to have played a key hand in fueling militancy in Kashmir over the last 27 years. Salahuddin also heads the United Jihad Council which is the umbrella body to oversee active terror outfits in Jammu and Kashmir. He is also known for supplying arms and training youths and sending them back to the Kashmir Valley. He was listed in NIA’s most-wanted list.

According to an article by Canada Free Press, Salahuddin finished his Masters in Political Science at Srinagar University in 1971, where he wrote several poems. He later jointed Jamat-e-Islami after concluding his education and contested state elections in 1987. After losing the elections, Salahuddin moved to militancy and was one of the key founders of Hizbul Mujahideen in 1989. In July 2006, according to Canada free Press, Indian Foreign Ministry Navtej Sarna made a formal request to Pakistan to arrest Salahuddin and hand it over to Indian authorities.

After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani last year, Salahuddin hailed Wani as a martyr. He also asked Pakistan to snap diplomatic ties with India during the clashes in Kashmir valley after Wani’s death. “If a peaceful solution is not reached then Pakistan should consider cutting off diplomatic ties with India over the killing of Wani,” the Hizbul Mujahideen leader said. At a public rally in Lahore in 2016, Salahuddin had reportedly warned Home Minister Rajnath Singh to not travel to Islamabad for the SAARC meeting of home ministers. Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed followed up on Salahuddin’s threat and announced a nation-wide protest against his visit.

Why US designated him as a global terrorist?

The statement by Department of State said Salahuddin is against a peaceful resolution of the on-going Kashmir conflict. “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”,” it said. It also added that the Hizbul Mujahideen is responsible for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir under his leadership including the April 2014 explosives attack in the state, which injured 17 people. The statement noted that Salahuddin poses a “significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism”.

What does it mean for Salahuddin?

According to US State Department, the move will prohibits US citizens from engaging in transactions with Salahuddin. They also said the designation may put a block on Salahuddin’s property and interests in property which lies under US jurisdiction. They further added the designation will help in exposing and isolating organisations and individuals associated with global terrorism. The designation will also lead to restriction from accessing US financial system, according to the statement. “Designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other nations,” the State Department added.

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  1. S
    Jul 1, 2017 at 8:08 am
    Behead this goat from ear to ear and hang his head outside on Jeep and drive through Kashmir. Shoot all the protesters.
    1. S
      Jul 1, 2017 at 7:09 am
      uddin is global terrorist like kejri aap from suresh haryana
      1. D
        DR MISS
        Jun 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm
        1. E
          Employ Ment
          Jun 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm
          योजना ✔मोदी जी द्वारा चलाए गए डिजिटल इन्डिया से जुड़े और 15,000 - 50,000 रुपए ✔अब कोई नही रहेगा बेरोज़गार और नही करेगा कोई बेरोज़गार आत्महत्या ✔क्योंकि अब आ गई है 21वीं सदी की सबसे बड़ी रोज़गार क्रांति ✔हमारा सपना पूरे भारत को ही नही पूरी दुनिया को डिजिटल इंडिया से जोड़ना सबका साथ सबका विकास ➡शुरुवात कैसे करे ✔C.h.a.m.p`C.a.s.h को प्ले स्टोर से इन्स्टल करे, और साइन अप करे, $1 डॉलर बोनस : 6140686 ➡चैलेंज को पूरा करे ➡और इंकम करनी शुरू करे 👇🏻इसे जरूर नोट कर ले👇🏻 : 6140686 ........................ Hbshhdhdhhdhdujsj
          1. S
            Shafted mohammed
            Jun 30, 2017 at 10:55 am
            Catch hold of him and bring him in a helicopter and throw him in Arabian Sea so that he can porno with his mentor Osama who is having gala time .
            1. S
              Shafaqat Gillani
              Jun 30, 2017 at 8:51 am
              You are wrong IA. Yusuf shah won 1989 election with heavy majority....as a candidate of MUF(Muslim united front). Nc and Congress rigged the elections and declared him a loser....when people raised voice he was arrested and tortured in prison for 9 months...was warned never to contest polls again....after release he left Kashmir and later emerged as hudeen.... Why Indian media always lies and distorts facts regarding Kashmir.....? He Democratically wanted to serve people...but in return he was cheated and got humiliation.......
              1. K
                Jun 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm
                even if it is true who cheated him Farooq NC and Kashmiri congmen u people have always been blaming India and Indian press catch hold of Congis and Farooq all r alive truth will come out who exploited and is exploiting Kashmiris do u mean he is licenced to kill thousands of innocents and Kashmiri muslim youngsters in the name of jehad which jehad and against whom to fulfill napak wish of napakistan ok carrry on again another kashmiri renegade killing kashmiris in the name of azadi an illusion go on hiding truth
                1. S
                  Jul 1, 2017 at 7:14 am
                  Congress party has looted India for 70 years from suresh haryana
                2. E
                  Employ Ment
                  Jun 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm
                  योजना ✔मोदी जी द्वारा चलाए गए डिजिटल इन्डिया से जुड़े और 15,000 - 50,000 रुपए ✔अब कोई नही रहेगा बेरोज़गार और नही करेगा कोई बेरोज़गार आत्महत्या ✔क्योंकि अब आ गई है 21वीं सदी की सबसे बड़ी रोज़गार क्रांति ✔हमारा सपना पूरे भारत को ही नही पूरी दुनिया को डिजिटल इंडिया से जोड़ना सबका साथ सबका विकास ➡शुरुवात कैसे करे ✔C.h.a.m.p`C.a.s.h को प्ले स्टोर से इन्स्टल करे, और साइन अप करे, $1 डॉलर बोनस : 468942 ➡चैलेंज को पूरा करे ➡और इंकम करनी शुरू करे 👇🏻इसे जरूर नोट कर ले👇🏻 : 468942 ........................ Jdhhhdjsjjdhdjisksk
                  1. R
                    Raj Parwani
                    Jun 27, 2017 at 8:58 pm
                    Whenever you shun someone you create a vacuum so you need to understand who is gonna fill that vacuum and what kind of plans you have to tackle that force. Look at recent history, when you shunned Saddam Hussein, vacuum was filled by Al Qaida, which was far worse them him then you went against Al-Qaida and next thing you found that you are fighting against ISIS which is 10 times more extremist and lethal than Al-Qaida. So, this might be a bad strategy in the long run, cause this guy was trying to keep the outfit moderate, once he is out of the picture more radical leadership might take over. This guy was always open for talks next guy may not want any negotiations with India. There was a reason why Obama administration didn't do it, I have zero confidence on Trump administration that they might have seen beyond the obvious.
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