Narendra Modi US visit: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay today said that India is keen to promote economic ties with the US. He was speaking in the wake of PM Narendra Modi met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to discuss ways to boost Indo-US strategic ties too. PM had also met US Defence Secretary James Mattis. Tillerson had met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar a week or so ago and said that the trip would strengthen the Indo-US relationship and help advance the common interest in fighting terrorism and promoting economic growth. Baglay today said that Secretary Mattis revealed that he read PM Narendra Modi’s Op-ed in Wall Street. Mattis actually started his talk with Modi by revealing this fact. Baglay also said that PM Modi discussed global terrorism with James Mattis. On being asked about the US State Department branding Syed Salauddin as a global terrorist, Baglay refused to comment and said that he would study the document before saying anything. However, Baglay did add that, “In general, it does vindicate India’s long standing position that cross border terrorism has been behind disturbances created in Kashmir.” Jonah Blank, senior political scientist explained, “This serves that in eyes of US, Syed Salahuddin is not merely terrorist active against India, but globally.”
Trump administration today tagged Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. Earlier former Pakistan envoy to the US Husain Haqqani had expressed fears of US taking steps that will hurt Pakistan saying, “I think President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will probably lay foundations of a much stronger India and US partnership.” It has also emerged that the joint India-US statement would also include a reference to Syed Salahuddin. These steps are expected to choke funds to terror groups in a major way.
Here is what the US State Dept note said:
Office of the Spokesperson
June 26, 2017
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.
Mohammad Yusuf Shah, AKA Syed Salahuddin, is the senior leader of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). In September, 2016, Salahuddin 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 HM leader, HM has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people.
Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Mohammad Yusuf Shah, AKA Syed Salahuddin, has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other nations.
PTI reported that as a consequence of this designation, US citizens 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. As a senior leader of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), the State Department said in September, 2016, Salahuddin, also known as Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah, 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”.