18 February 1946|
Badgam, Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Children||5 sons, 2 daughters|
Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah or popularly known as Syed Salahudeen is the head of the militant rebel organisation Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a Kashmir-based militant separatist group operating in Indian Kashmir, and head of an "alliance" of Kashmiri terrorist organisations, the United Jihad Council, that supports annexation of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and/or complete freedom of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from both India and 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 list. He is currently living in Pakistan.
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 Jammu and Kashmir.
At university, he became increasingly radicalised, 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 can not qualify civil services exam, 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. Mohammad Yusuf Shah who stood for the Legislative Assembly elections in 1987 from Amirakadal, Srinagar. He came second after Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah of the moderate National Conference won the seat. Mohammed Yusaf Shah was arrested and put in jail for his violent agitations.
After his arrest for violent protests and release in 1989, 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 ISI's 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,||”|
|— Sayeed Salahudeen|
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".
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