Hours before the Modi-Trump meet, the US on Monday declared the Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist.
The State Department said it had designated Mohammad Yusuf Shah, widely known as Syed Salahuddin, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
A 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”.
“Under Salahuddin’s tenure as senior Hizbul Mujahideen leader, (the group) has claimed responsibility for several attacks including the April 2014 explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir which injured 17 people,” the statement said.
It said Monday’s action notified the American public and the international community that Syed Salahuddin had committed or posed a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
“Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organisations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other nations,” it said.
“As a consequence of this designation, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with Salahuddin and all of Salahuddin’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked,” it added.
The US designation came just ahead of the meeting between visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
Syed Salahuddin, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir but has lived in Pakistan for years, is known to maintain close ties with the Pakistani military-intelligence set-up.