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India welcomes US decision on Hizbul, says move was 'long overdue'


New Delhi, Aug 17: A day after the US designated the Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist group, India has welcomed the decision, saying the move was "long overdue".

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin

The US on Thursday 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 decision to designate Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation was long overdue, a Home Ministry spokesperson said, adding "it is well deserved". The decision, which slaps a series of US sanctions on the outfit, came against the backdrop of an upsurge in the activities of the militant group in Kashmir in recent months.

Among other consequences, all of Hizbul Mujahideen's property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.

The US decision marks a severe blow to Pakistan which has been projecting the militant group as a voice of Kashmiri people.

Formed in 1989, Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. It has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

The State Department said terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments, it said.


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