Lahore: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the application for registration of Milli Muslim League (MML), which is the political face of Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), as a political party.
The move was seen as a bid to prevent extremists from entering into mainstream politics ahead of next year’s elections.
The Ministry of Interior, in a letter, had asked the ECP to ban the newly-formed political party, arguing that it had ties to banned militant outfits, The Dawn reported.
“The interior ministry’s letter mentions that the MML is backed by banned terrorist outfits,” the ECP chief commissioner pointed out.
“The real terrorists are those who question the finality of prophethood,” the MML lawyer replied.
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In its fresh letter, the interior ministry told the ECP that it had decided not to support MML’s registration on the basis of recommendations received from the Foreign Office and intelligence agencies.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) had also recommended the federal government not to allow proscribed organizations to take part in active politics
There are some 345 political parties registered with the ECP. On finding documents in accordance with the law and the Political Parties Order 2002, the ECP straight away registers a political party, which can be allotted an election symbol on fulfilling the related requirements afterwards.
In September, the interior ministry had asked the ECP to ban the MML, claiming that the party is backed by Hafiz Saeed, who carries a USD10 million US bounty on his head for his alleged involvement in the 2008 terrorist attacks in India.