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Pakistan EC rejects registration application of Hafiz Saeed’s political party

Pakistan’s Election Commission today rejected an application for registration of Milli Muslim League, an offshoot of Hafiz Saeed’s banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah, as a political party after the Interior Ministry raised objections over its links with the terrorist groups.

The League had applied for registration with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for recognition as a political party so that it could use the platform to contest elections. The ECP rejected the application after a hearing and asked the party to get clearance from the Interior Ministry which, through a letter, had asked the election commission not to register MML due to its ties to banned terrorist outfits. “The Interior Ministry’s letter mentions that the MML is backed by banned terrorist outfits,” chief election commissioner Sardar Raza Khan said.

In a detailed letter last month, the ministry advised the ECP to ban the newly formed MML as it was associated with Saeed, who carries a USD 10 million US bounty on his head. Saeed’s JuD has already been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the United States in June 2014. During the hearing, the MML lawyer asked the ECP to recognise the party as it has followed all legal procedure while applying for the registration.

MML was set up in August and the same month it applied for registration with the ECP, which had sought opinion of the Interior Ministry.

“There is evidence to substantiate that Lashkar-e-Tayaba (LeT), the JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation are affiliates and ideologically of the same hue and the registration of the MML is not supported,” the ministry wrote back to the ECP. The ministry also said in the letter quoting an official correspondence of the ECP that MML President Saifullah Khalid has claimed that Saeed and he were ideologically affiliated with each other s organisations.

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