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‘Hafiz Saeed-backed MML can’t contest Pakistan elections’

Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed speaking to his supporters in Rawalpindi in December 2017.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed speaking to his supporters in Rawalpindi in December 2017.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Election Commission rejects its bid for the second time

Just weeks before the general elections, Pakistan’s Election Commission on Wednesday rejected for a second time an application by the Milli Muslim League, an offshoot of Hafiz Saeed’s banned Jamat-ud-Dawa, to register it as a political party.

A four-member bench of the commission, chaired by its Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, decided against allowing the MML to be registered as a political party. In its short order, the bench said that the decision had been taken in light of observations of the Ministry of Interior which had expressed its reservations because of the party’s links with the banned JuD leader Saeed.

The MML, however, denied that it had any links with the JuD or that its chief, Saifuddin Khalid, had relations with Saeed. It said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and its leadership were behind rejection of application by ECP.

Launched last year

The MML was launched last year and contested the July 25 elections. Saeed has been campaigning for the party since last month. In April, the U.S. designated the party as a foreign terrorist organisation, alleging that members of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba were associated with it. The first rejection of the MML’s application by the Election Commission was set aside by the Islamabad High Court in earlier this year.

 

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:09:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/hafiz-saeed-backed-mml-cant-contest-pak-elections/article24156353.ece

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