Saeed’s MML to drag Pak election commission to court for contempt
Lahore, May 21 : The Milli Muslim League (MML), the political face of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s JuD, today accused Pakistan’s election commission of using delaying tactics to register the group as a political party and committing contempt of court.
Saeed has already started campaigning for the MML with an eye on the general elections in Pakistan expected to be held on July 27.
The US last month designated the MML as a foreign terrorist organisation, saying the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) members make up MML’s leadership and the so-called party openly displays Saeed’s likeness in its election banners and literature.
The MML has not been yet registered by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
“We are going to file a contempt of court petition in the Islamabad High Court against the ECP for using delaying tactics regarding enlisting of MML as a political party as per law,” MML President Saifullah Khalid said in a statement today.
Khalid said the ECP’s “tactics” are in clear violation of the high court verdict that forwarded the MML application to the ECP for enlisting it as a political entity but it is yet to comply with the orders.
The court in March had set aside the ECP order declining registration of the MML. Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC bench had referred this matter to the ECP directing the electoral body to pass a speaking order in this matter.
The MML had challenged the October 11 order of the ECP declining registration to the MML as a political party allegedly on the behest of the interior ministry.
The interior ministry had opposed enlisting of the MML as a political party, arguing that it is an offshoot of the Jammat-ud-Dawah of Saeed banned under a UN resolution.
Khalid said the basic law of the country gives the people the right to take part in political process and the ECP can not deny them this fundamental right.
“Despite all odds MML candidates will contest from all constituencies in the upcoming general elections,” he said.
“We have decided to assemble people, forge unity among them and create an atmosphere of harmony. We have to serve the country and the nation, protect its ideological and geographical borders and reform its political system. For the purpose MML should be allowed to get registered and take part in forthcoming elections,” he said.
Security analyst Muhammad Amir Rana says MML is a JuD political wing and it will be a unique case in the country’s history if the political wing of a militant organisation is registered with the ECP as a political party.
“There is still plenty of literature being produced by the JuD against democracy and the constitution. A brief background of the party’s anti-democratic ideology and practices can be found in a book Qafila Dawat-o-Jihad, written by Ameer Hamza, a JuD founder,” he said.
Rana further said the JuD has the same worldview and anti-democratic attitude that are espoused by international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic State group.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.