Islamabad: Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin on Saturday vowed to continue the struggle for “liberation” of Kashmir from India, days after the US blacklisted him as a “global terrorist”.
Addressing the media amid tight security at the Centre Press Club in Muzaffarabad for the first time since the US declared him a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” on June 27, Salahuddin rejected the US decision and said he was a freedom fighter and not a terrorist.
“We are not terrorists...Our struggle is for freedom from India and it will continue till liberation of Kashmir,” said the 71-year-old Kashmiri separatist leader, who is based in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“The US cannot provide a single example of when I and other Kashmiri fighters committed any act of terrorism,” he said. “Kashmiri freedom fighters have a code of conduct to not harm minorities, the elderly, children and women, and if sometimes the enemy offers a peace deal, we accept it.”
Salahuddin also claimed that his group has the capability to launch attacks inside India. He offered conditional talks with India if Russia or China guaranteed that peace talks would be result oriented. He also announced to observe a “Week of Resistance” from Monday to commemorate the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul commander who was killed on July 8 last year in an encounter in Kashmir. The US took the step against Salahuddin, as he had “vowed to block peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict.