US designating Hizbul as terror group sad: Pakistan

Islamabad: The US decision to declare Hizbul Mujahideen a specially-designated terrorist organisation led by an internationally recognised terrorist is “saddening”, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Addressing a weekly media briefing, spokesperson Nafees Zakaria claimed that the US had always appreciated Pakistan’s sacrifices in counter-terrorism efforts, which makes this decision “saddening”. He said that Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination had been going on for 70 years, Dawn newspaper reported.

He said the primary issue in Pakistan-India relations was Kashmir “which has to be resolved through dialogue”. The blacklisting of Hizbul Mujahideen further increases US pressure on Pakistan to do more about tightening the screws on terrorist groups that allegedly use its territory for launching cross-border attacks in Afghanistan and Kashmir, the Dawn said.

The US State Department on Wednesday designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and as a specially designated global terrorist. “These designations seek to deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks,” said the State Department while reminding US citizens that they were prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.

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