Trump-Modi ‘nexus’ could spell ‘disaster’ for regional peace: PaK president

Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan, the president of Pakistan administered Kashmir.

Srinagar: Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) President Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan on Tuesday warned that a “Trump-Modi nexus” could spell “disaster” to regional peace.

The statement of Khan follows a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the run-up to which the US State Department had designated Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin a “global terrorist” and slapped sanctions on him ─ a move slammed by the Pakistan Foreign Office today as ‘completely unjustified’.

Both leaders had called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used “to launch terrorist attacks” on other countries, a statement from the White House said.

Sardar Khan, who retired from the foreign service of Pakistan as a career diplomat, claimed that the US had always “deceived
Pakistan and its latest decision was yet another example of it.

“The US has never acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices despite the latter’s being a frontline state in the war against terrorism,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi touring the White House along with the Trumps in Washington DC on June 26, 2017.

Khan questioned the justification of the US decision, claiming that the Hizb ul Mujahideen had been “struggling solely for freedom of Kashmir, and was neither linked to any terrorist group nor had resorted to any action outside Kashmir”.

“In fact, it’s the Indian army committing terrorism in occupied Kashmir. Ignoring the genocide of Kashmiris by Indian army and declaring freedom fighters as terrorists is a criminal departure from international humanitarian and democratic norms by the US,” he claimed.

Salahuddin, 71, has five sons and two daughters who live in the Kashmir valley.

He hails from central Kashmir’s Budgam district, and had moved to Pakistan administered Kashmir in or around 1989 after he contested the Kashmir Assembly elections on a Muslim United Front (MUF) ticket in 1987.

Salahuddin finished his Masters in Political Science at Srinagar University in 1971, where he wrote several poems.

He later jointed Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) after concluding his education and contested state elections in 1987.

He was arrested from inside the ticket counting hall in Srinagar and eventually released in 1989.

The MUF alleged widespread rigging of polls by the NC-Congress alliance led by Dr Farooq Abdullah.

He formed and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Along with Hizb ul Mujahideen, Salahuddin also leads the United Jihad Council (UJC), which is a conglomerate of many militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir since mid-1990s.

He hailed Burhan Wani as a ‘martyr’, and promised to turn the Kashmir valley “into a graveyard for Indian forces.”

On Monday, the UJC chief issued a week-long calendar on the death anniversary of Burhan whose killing on July 08, 2016 triggered a massive anti-India uprising during which armed forces shot dead over hundred civilians.

Kashmiris protest US move

Hundreds of people from different walks of life staged a rally in the capital of PaK and condemned the US administration’s decision of designating Salahuddin a “terrorist”.

Demonstrators started the rally from Muzaffarabad‘a famous Burhan Wani Chowk, named after a Hizb ul Mujahideen commander who was killed by Indian forces in Kashmir last year.

In Washington on Monday, the non-resident Kashmiris (NRKs) held “freedom for Kashmir” rally outside the White House when Modi held bilateral meeting with Trump administration.

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