|Syed Salah U Deen|
18 February 1946|
Badgam, Jammu and Kashmir
|Children||5 sons, 2 daughters|
Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah or popularly known as Syed Salahudeen is the head of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based and Pakistan-backed Islamic terrorist group operating in Indian-administered Kashmir, and head of an "alliance" of Kashmiri terrorist organizations, the Muttahida Jihad Council, that supports annexation of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan. Salahudeen regularly asserts that "the practical mechanism to solve Kashmir dispute is by accepting the right to self-determination". He is listed on the NIA Most Wanted terrorist list.
Born as the seventh child of middle class parents at Soibugh, Budgam, a village in the Kashmir Valley. His father worked in the Postal Department in the Indian government. Mohammed Yusaf Shah initially became interested in studying medicine, but later on decided to become a civil servant. While studying Political Science at University of Kashmir, he was influenced by the Jamaat-e-Islami, and become a member of its branch in Kashmir.
At university, he became increasingly radicalized, and got involved in persuading Muslim women to veil themselves (observe orthodox Shariah) and also took part in processions in support of Pakistan. After university, he decided not to join the civil service, as he regarded this as traitorous to the cause of Kashmir, but instead he became an Islamic preacher at a Madrasa.
He is married, with five sons. His oldest son, Shakeel Yousuf, works as a medical assistant at Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, second son Javed Yousuf works in the Education Department as computer operator, while Shahid Yousuf is a Research Fellow at the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology. Shah's fourth son, Wahid Yusuf, studies in Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Government Medical College. Mueed Yusuf, the youngest of Shah's sons, is pursuing a higher education degree (M.Tech.).
In 1987, Mohammed Yusaf Shah decided to contest J&K assembly election on the ticket of the Muslim United Front, a coalition of political parties in Srinagar's Amirakadal Constituency. He came second after Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah of the moderate National Conference won the seat, amidst allegations of "rigging and bogus polling". Mohammed Yusaf Shah was arrested and put in jail for his violent agitations.
After his release in 1989, he was allegedly threatened by the National Conference with "dire consequences". This convinced him that "armed struggle was the only solution to the Kashmiri problem". He then joined Hizbul Mujahideen founded by Muhammad Ahsan Dar alias "Master" who later parted from Hizbul Mujahideen. He soon took over as the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen with Pakistani [[Inter-Services Intelligence |ISI]] blessings, and then adopted nom de guerre "Sayeed Salahudeen", named after Saladin, the 12th century Muslim political and military leader, who fought in the Crusades.
|“||We are fighting Pakistan's war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan,||”|
In June 2012 in an interview, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Sayeed Salahuddin accepted that Pakistan had been backing Hizb-ul-Mujahideen for fight in Kashmir. He had declared to start attacking Pakistan if Pakistan stopped backing jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir who, he claimed, were fighting "Pakistan's war".
- Interview with rediff.com, dated Aug 27 2001
- Interview with rediff.com, dated Jan 9 2007
- Terror in twilight, dated Aug 26th - Sep 8th 2006
- Mir, Hamid (January 6, 2007). "The most wanted man in India". Canada Free Press. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- PTI (Jun 8, 2012). "Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin warns Pakistan against withdrawing support on Kashmir". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Normalization of Indo-Pak ties hurts Kashmir cause: Salahuddin". Arab News. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
Most Wanted Profiles of Terror by K.P.S Gill, ISBN 81-7436-207-X