Pakistan has asked its Election Commission to bar from politics a new party supported by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed. Pakistan’s interior ministry recommended that the Election Commission of Pakistan reject the newly formed Milli Muslim League’s (MML) application to become an official party as it is affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
The ministry said MML is ideologically of the same type as LeT and its affiliated charities Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insanyat Foundation (FIF). The interior ministry said the security agency has informed that considering the clamour, philosophy, outreach and modus operandi to operate, it is difficult to believe that MML will tread its own path completely at variance with its mother organization. It said such groups would breed violence and extremism in politics, and therefore, registration of such groups be avoided.
The ministry also said foreign countries have raised diplomatic objections to MML’s existence. Spokesman for the MML,Tabish Qayyum, said in a statement that the ministry’s letter is unlawful. He denied that MML had links with any banned militant group. Recently, the United States has designated Hafiz Saeed, who presently leads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity, a terrorist and views him as the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed is currently under house arrest.
Pakistan’s reluctance to press charges against him has been a sore point in relations with Washington and India over the past decade.