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Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah

Born: 1952;

Place of Birth: Soibug, Budgam, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, India;

Gender: Male;

Nationality: India; alt. Pakistan;

Citizen: India;

1. Muzaffarabad, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Pakistan;
2. Rawalpindi, Pakistan;
3. Islamabad, Pakistan;


In 1987, Yusuf Shah known as Sayeed Salahuddin, decided to contest the 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 Yusuf Shah was arrested and put in jail for his violent agitations.

While studying Political Science at the 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 also 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 instead of taking the civil service exam he became an Islamic teacher at a madrasa.

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.

Later he 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.

In June 2012 in an interview, Sayeed Salahuddin, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s chief, 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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