Kashmir separatists announce stir to denounce US action against Hizbul chief
The US state department had named Syed Salahuddin – also the chief commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen – as a “specially designated global terrorist” and imposed sanctions on him. The protests will be held after the Friday prayers.Updated: Jun 29, 2017 20:14 IST
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
The US government’s decision to designate United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist has spurred Kashmiri separatist leaders to call for protests after the Friday prayers.
UJC is an umbrella body of militant organisations fighting against Indian rule in the Valley.
Separatists Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik expressed deep regret and dismay over the Trump administration’s decision in a joint statement issued on Thursday. “Instead of (advising) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately put an end to the brutal oppression of occupied Kashmir and initiating serious steps towards resolving the Kashmir dispute, the US chose to maintain complete silence over it,” the statement read.
The US state department had named Salahuddin – also the chief commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen – as a specially designated global terrorist (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him. The announcement came just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump.
The joint statement said Washington was aware that for the last 70 years, the people of Kashmir have been engaged in a “long and peaceful struggle to achieve their basic human and political rights guaranteed by the UN”, but were suppressed through use of extreme force.
“Instead of taking cognizance of these facts, the US government designated veteran freedom fighter and leader Syed Salah-ud-din as a terrorist. (The UJC chief’s only crime is that he) supports the people’s right to self-determination, and was forced to take up arms to fight India’s military occupation – as many youngsters are sadly doing even today…” the statement said.
Terming the US decision as an “unjustified move to appease the Indian government”, the statement said: “Their (the US government’s) silence on the oppression and human rights situation in Kashmir is not acceptable to the people of Kashmir, who will strongly protest against it after the Friday prayers.”
The protests were also intended to condemn the “illegal arrests and detention of resistance leaders, activists and youngsters through raids conducted across the Valley”, the statement added.
First Published: Jun 29, 2017 20:05 IST