Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin punished as Modi visits US
The US State Department on Monday designated Kashmiri militant leader and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him.
Mohammad Yusuf Shah, aka Syed Salahuddin, is the leader of the largest militant group that fights against government forces in Kashmir.
The development came just hours ahead of the scheduled meeting between visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
He was designated a terrorist "under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (EO) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals" or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, said a release issued from the US State Department.
The action bars US persons from financial transactions with Syed Salahuddin.
The State Department statement said that in September 2016, 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".
The US says the militant group has claimed responsibility for several attacks. (With agency inputs)