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Recently branded as a global terrorist by the United States, Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin admitted in an interview to a Pakistani TV channel of solely targeting Indian 'occupation forces'.
"Till now our focus was on Indian occupation forces. All the operations that we have done or are underway, we focus only on the installations of these occupational forces," Salahuddin said in an interview with Geo TV.
Calling Kashmir his 'home' the Hizbul chief informed that he had carried out many 'operations' in India and revealed that he has many supporters. He said that the international scenario had changed after 9/11 and that the Valley has been witnessing an uprising since the death of Burhan Wani.
Salahuddin stated that he purchased weapons from international markets and boasted that he can deliver weapons to any place if he is paid for it.
"If we would have taken our operations out of Kashmir at that time, India would get a chance to label Kashmir-e-Tehreek a terrorist organization. We have support and we can target any place in India, at any time," he said.
Following the first bilateral meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of State designated Salahuddin, as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist'.
"Department of State has designated Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as (AKA) Syed Salahuddin, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 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 U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a consequence of this designation, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with Salahuddin and all of Salahuddin's property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction are blocked," the State Department said in a statement.
A senior leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, in September 2016 Salahuddin vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict. He threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers and vowed to turn the Kashmir Valley "into a graveyard for Indian forces."
Under Salahuddin's leadership, the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir in April 2014 which injured 17 people.