Islamabad: The United Statesinfo-icon on Tuesday designated the Balochistaninfo-icon Liberation Armyinfo-icon (BLA), which is fighting Pakistani rule in Balochistan province, a terrorist organisation.

The USinfo-icon decision came ahead of first formal meeting between US President Donald Trumpinfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon Prime Minister Imran Khaninfo-icon in Washington later this month. Imran Khan is expected to undertake his maiden trip to the US from July 20. 

Pakistan has already classified the outfit as a terrorist organisation and has been urging the US to do the same.

The US State Department, confirming the decision, said it was classifying the BLA as a global terrorist group, making it a crime for anyone in the United States to assist the militants and freezing any US assets they may have.

"The BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan," the State Department noted, citing reason behind the move.

"The outfit has carried out several terrorist attacks in the past year, including a suicide attack in August, 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Balochistan, a November, 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and a May, 2019 attack against a luxury hotel in Gwadar," it added.

Meanwhile, the US also declared Jaish al-Adl, involved in deadly terrorist attacks against Iraninfo-icon as global terrorist organisation. "Additionally, the Department of State has amended the terrorist designations of Jundallah to reflect the group's new primary name Jaish al-Adl and associated aliases. These aliases have been added to the group's designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and as an SDGT under EO 13224," the State Department said.

The State Department further said that Jundallah, which was designated as an FTO and SDGT in 2010, began using the new name Jaish al-Adl and associated aliases in 2012. "Since its inception, the group has engaged in numerous attacks that have killed scores of Iranian civilians and government officials, including a February, 2019 suicide bombing and the October 2018 kidnapping of Iranian security personnel," the statement said.