- Decision based on report by interior ministry
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) — which had been asked by Islamabad High Court (IHC) to decide anew on the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML) as a political party — has again rejected the group’s application.
A four-member bench of the commission, chaired by its Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, on Wednesday decided against allowing the MML to be registered as a political party.
In its short order, the bench stated 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 alleged links with the banned Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) leader Hafiz Saeed. The Ministry of Interior relied upon details provided by the intelligence agencies
During the hearing, counsel representing MML said the federal government could not oppose registration of any political party. “No one can predict if a political party can affiliate with banned outfits in the future,” he said. “MML leader Saifullah Khalid has no link with Saeed.”
In a previous hearing, the commission summoned a detailed report from the interior ministry. The enlistment of MML, deemed to be a political offshoot of Jamatud Dawa (JuD), has been pending since last year as the interior ministry awaited appraisal from intelligence agencies about the group.
Government through a Presidential Ordinance has declared that any individual or organisation which has 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. Earlier in April, US State Department included Milli Muslim League (MML) in its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO), saying it is a front for banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The group, however, denies any link to LeT or any other banned outfit.