US designating Hizbul Mujahideen as terror group ‘unjustified’, says Pakistan

(Daily Sangar )The US State Department on Wednesday designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and as a specially designated global terrorist.

Pakistan on Thursday said that it was “disappointed” with the US decision to designate the Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and termed the move as “completely unjustified.”The US on Wednesday designated the Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist group, nearly two months after declaring its Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.

“The designation of individuals or groups supporting the Kashmiri right to self-determination as terrorists is completely unjustified,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during his weekly press conference here.

He said the US decision did not take into account “the 70-year struggle of Kashmiris”.“We are disappointed (with the US decision) in view of the fact that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute with UNSC resolutions pending implementation,” he said.He reiterated Pakistan’s “moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiri people’s struggle”.

Formed in 1989, Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir.

Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked whether Pakistan would take up the matter with the US, Zakaria said, “whenever meeting between the two sides is held, we table all concerns from our side”.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “neither bullet nor abuse” comments validates Pakistan’s stance that the “only solution of Kashmir is through fair and free plebiscite.”

He also urged India to allow a UN fact-finding mission to probe into alleged human rights abuses in Kashmir.