ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday turned down the request of Milli Muslim League (MML), a political face of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaatud Dawa, to register as a political party.
The MML has been struggling for the registration since 2017 when the election body had asked the party’s lawyer to obtain a security clearance certificate from the Ministry of Interior, which had opposed its registration.
The decision comes at a time when 2018 general elections are set to be held on July 25 as President Mamnoon Hussain had approved a summary sent by the ECP.
Earlier this year, the United States added the Milli Muslim League (MML) and Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) to its list of terrorist organisations, citing that both were the fronts of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“The aliases [MML and TAJK] have been added to LeT’s designations as an FTO under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224,” said the US State Department.
On August 8, the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) entered politics by forming a new party, the Milli Muslim League. Its members on inauguration said that the party will follow the ideology of the JuD.
Saifullah Khalid, a religious scholar and longtime official of the group, is president of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party. He had told reporters in Islamabad that his party will work to make Pakistan “a real Islamic and welfare state” and that it is ready to cooperate with like-minded parties.
The MML contested the by-polls for NA-120 in September last year and unexpectedly gained fourth position with twice as many votes as the tally of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-i-Islami combined.
Last year, the ECP had also rejected the party’s plea for registration on the ground that its supremo, Hafiz Saeed, is a globally listed terrorist whereas organisations, JuD and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), were also designated as banned groups through a presidential ordinance.
The MML challanged the verdict in the Islamabad High Court, which suspended the orders and sent the case again to the ECP, directing it to hear the plea property and then issue a ruling in the case.