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June 14, 2018

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ECP dismisses MML request for registration

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday dismissed an application seeking registration of Milli Muslim League (MML), seen as a political face of Jamaatud Dawa.

To this effect, a four-member commission, headed by the Election Commission Member Abdul Ghaffar based the decision on a report by the Interior Ministry, which said that the ‘party’ followed the ideology of Hafiz Saeed, leader of banned outfit Jamaatud Dawa whereas, the Ministry of Interior came to this conclusion on the details provided by the intelligence agencies.

Since August last, the league has been pushing for registration at the Election Commission of Pakistan to unleash its political campaign. However, so far, it has failed to get its bid going.

During the hearing, MML counsel contended that the federal government could not oppose registration of any political party, as no one could predict if a political party could affiliate with banned outfits in the future. He emphasised that MML head Saifullah Khalid had no links with Hafiz Saeed.

The Election Commission had previously put aside its application, prompting the League leadership to knock at the doors of the Islamabad High Court, which called on the electoral body to decide the matter afresh.

With the application again with it, the Election Commission during previous hearing summoned a detailed report from the interior ministry. The government through a presidential ordinance has declared that any individual or organisation, having been declared proscribed by the United Nations (UN) would be deemed as a banned outfit in the country.

The formation of MML was announced in August last year and a formal application was submitted to the Election Commission. On its part, the United States State Department included Milli Muslim League (MML) in its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO) and said it was a front for banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, the League denies out rightly having anything to do with any proscribed organisation.

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