ISLAMABAD:The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday slammed the designation of supporters of the Kashmiri right to self-determination as terrorists, terming it ‘completely unjustified’.
The FO statement comes a day after the United States (US) State Department designated Hizbul Mujahideen’s supreme commander Syed Salahuddin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him.
The decision drew criticism and condemnation from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), with Kashmiris chiding the US President Donald Trump’s administration for “equating their legitimate struggle for internationally acknowledged right to self-determination with terrorism.”
“The designation of individuals supporting the Kashmiri right to self-determination as terrorists is completely unjustified,” FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement without naming Salahuddin or the US.
The development surfaced hours ahead of a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
The FO reiterated Pakistan’s longstanding commitment to countering terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”, adding that the Kashmiri struggle “remains legitimate”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted “the gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people” in India-held Kashmir (IHK), saying that Indian security forces had intensified their “brutal policies of repression” in the region, including the use of pellet guns, extrajudicial killings, rape, use of human shields, arbitrary arrests, undocumented disappearances and other forms of violence and curbs to freedom.
Zakaria asserted that Pakistan would continue to extend “political, diplomatic and moral support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of the right to self-determination and the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions.”