MEA spokeperson Ashok Prasad said the government had been calling Salahuddin as a terrorist all along, and his own remarks confirmed that.
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday condemned Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin's recent utterances against India, and said his designation as a global terrorist by the United States was "well deserved".
Home Ministry spokesperson Ashok Prasad said the government had been describing Salahuddin as a terrorist all along, and his own remarks had confirmed that.
"His designation as a global terrorist by the US is well deserved," he told reporters in the national capital.
Prasad said Salahuddin was also "instrumental" in providing funds to terrorists and separatists and giving other kinds of assistance to the militants.
In an interview to a Pakistani TV channel, Salahuddin had said he "can strike anytime, anywhere in India" and that it was easy for him to get weapons in Pakistan for these terror strikes.
The US declared him a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" on June 27.
"We are not terrorists... Our struggle is for freedom from India and it will continue till the liberation of Kashmir," the 71-year-old Kashmiri separatist leader, who is based in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, had said.
Reacting sharply to Salahuddin’s remark, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the confession by the Hizbul chief affirms the complicity of Pakistan's state structure in using terrorist proxies as a matter of policy against the neighbours.
Baglay said, "The brazen admission by Syed Salahuddin of perpetrating terrorist attacks on India and having the capacity to carry out such attacks at any place and time in India is a further proof of Pakistan’s continuing policy of cross border terrorism."
The MEA spokesperson demanded that Pakistan must give up its policy of cross-border terrorism, fulfill its obligations under international resolutions and stop all activities of terrorists from the territory under Pakistan's control.
Baglay further said that "the interview only highlights the unabashed manner in which terrorist organisations and leaders enjoy freedom of operations in Pakistan, including access to terror financing and procurement and supply of weapons for terrorism."
He further added that "It is a matter of deep regret that senior Pakistan functionaries continue to justify and defend the activities of such internationally designated terrorist entities and leaders who are responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians over the past three decades.