July 2017 News

US Terror Tag On Me Idiotic: Salahuddin

1 July 2017
Times of India
Omer Farooq Khan

Islamabad: Denouncing the 'global terrorist' tag slapped on him by the United States, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin on Saturday vowed to continue his fight in Kashmir until the 'liberation' of the Himalyan region from Indian control. 'This fight will not end without liberating Kashmir from illegal Indian occupation,' Salahuddin, 70, told a news conference in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, amid tight security. The US State Department declared Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-backed alliance of anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups, a specially designated global terrorist (SDGT) on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington. The militant leader, surrounded by gun-wielding bodyguards, said the declaration was a joint move by the US, Israel, and India to express their animosity towards Pakistan. Rejecting the US declaration of his special terrorist status, Salahuddin called the decision stupid and idiotic. 'Trump's decision will be thrown out if anyone challenges it in US courts. No other Western nation has endorsed what this crazy Donald Trump has done,' he remarked. 'The US cannot provide a single example to prove that I or other Kashmiri fighters committed any act of terrorism,' he said. 'Kashmiri freedom fighters have a declared code of conduct to not harm minorities, the elderly, children and women, and if sometimes the enemy offers a peace deal, we accept it.' 'There are examples when we avoided killing Indian soldiers who had surrendered before Kashmiri freedom fighters. Instead we sent them back home with travel allowances during the 1990s,' he maintained. He claimed that his fighters have the capability to strike inside the Indian territory. 'We don't do it because that would provide New Delhi an opportunity to malign the freedom struggle of mujahideen,' he said. He alleged that the Islamic State (IS) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) responsible for terrorist attacks in Pakistan were backed by India, Israel and the US to weaken Pakistan. 'We condemn all actions of the IS and TTP. They are both agents of Trump, Modi and Israel,' he added. Salahuddin called on the United Nations to implement its resolutions and give Kashmir's people the right to vote on independence or merging with Pakistan. He said Hizbul Mujahideen may consider peace talks with India if Russia or China can guarantee that such talks would produce results. He later led a rally in the city and praised Pakistan for its continued support in Kashmir.