Srinagar: The United Jihad Council (UJC), which is based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), on Tuesday, dubbed as a "crude joke" the US decision to designate its head and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a "global terrorist".
A day after the US State Department announced the decision, the UJC said its "struggle" for "freedom" of Kashmir "will continue till it reaches its logical conclusion."
The UJC, a conglomerate of about 13 militant groups active in Jammu and Kashmir, was formed by the Pakistan Army in 1994 and Salahuddin is its head. It includes Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad outfits.
Salahuddin, whose original name is Mohammad Yusuf Shah, hails from Kashmir and is based in Pakistan for the last 28 years.
"Salahuddin is a symbol of the freedom struggle of Kashmir. The Trump administration's decision to declare him a global terrorist is a crude joke with the Charter of United Nations, ground realities and very regrettable," said Syed Sadaqat Hussain, spokesperson of UJC, in a statement in Srinagar.
The US State Department, in a notification just before prime minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday, announced the decision to designate Salahuddin as a "global terrorist", saying he "has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism."
The US took the step against the militant group's 71-year-old head as he 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".
Hussain said the US decision is aimed at making Modi happy.
The UJC spokesperson claimed that the "freedom struggle of Kashmir has reached such a stage where nobody can either stop it or weaken it."
Updated Date: Jun 27, 2017 20:12 PM