Hafiz Saeed's MML woos Pakistani Sikhs ahead of elections
Hafiz Saeed, JuD chief and alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is now wooing Pakistani Sikhs ahead of general elections. To that effect, the Milli Muslim League (MML), JuD's political front, held a convention at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev. MML is reportedly fielding candidates in most constituencies, despite it still not being registered by the Election Commission.
Saeed's JuD formed the MML last August to "get (their) message to the grassroots". Despite non-recognition, MML candidates Yaqoob Sheikh and Liaqat Khan contested by-elections in Lahore and Peshawar and diverted votes from the ruling PML-N. Saeed has also disclosed his plans to contest the 2018 general elections. Earlier this month, the US designated MML a 'terrorist organization.'
Saeed and the MML now have the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) backing it. So much so, that when his brother-in-law used objectionable language against Guru Nanak at a Multan rally a few days ago, the PSGPC didn't even condemn it. PSGPC General Secretary Gopal Singh Chawla is known to share close ties with Saeed since before; he has often posted their pictures together on social media.
With Chawla's help, the MML convention was held at Nankana Sahib Saturday, attended by Saeed and MML-president Saifullah Khalid. The event was the ground for many anti-India comments. "Sikhs are a brave nation but atrocities are being committed against it in India," Saeed said. TOI quoted sources as saying that Gopal, Saeed and Khalid also raked up Kashmir and Khalistan to attack India.
According to a Peshawar-based Sikh leader, only a handful of Sikhs support the MML, especially those living in the Nankana Sahib and Lahore regions. Apart from them, most Pakistani Sikhs are against the JuD and Saeed's other terrorist outfit, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, he added.