On Wednesday the U.S. State Department designated Hizb-ul-Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization as Pakistan celebrated the terror organization by placing a portrait of Hizb leader on a celebratory train.
As part of Independence Day celebrations, Pakistan ran a special ‘Azadi’ train from Islamabad on August 12 which reached the central city of Lahore on August 16th. The ‘Azadi’ or Freedom train had floats and carriages showcasing culture and traditions of the different provinces of the country. The train also had a special carriage dedicated to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed last July in a gun battle with Indian forces.
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) August 16, 2017
The statement released by the U.S. State Department said:
These designations seek to deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of HM’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.
Formed in 1989, HM is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen is led by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014, explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people.
Last month, on the first anniversary of Wani’s death, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tributes to the militant commander and said that his death “infused a new spirit in the struggle for freedom” in the Kashmir Valley. Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also praised the militant commander in a statement released through his spokesperson he said:
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 8, 2017