Pak interior ministry seeks ban on Hafiz Saeed's political party
Pakistan's interior ministry has urged the nation's electoral commission to bar from politics a party floated by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed. In a letter dated September 22, the ministry has recommended that the commission shouldn't recognize the Milli Muslim League's (MML) as an official party. It said the party is affiliated the LeT, the perpetrator of the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Political sources said the interior ministry's stance clashes with a plan proposed by the ISI intelligence agency to push some of the Pakistan-based anti-Indian militant groups in the mainstream. The move is part of a deradicalization effort.
The ministry claimed in the letter that MML is "ideologically of the same hue" as LeT and its affiliated charity JuD. The letter said foreign countries have also raised diplomatic objections to the MML. India is among those opposing the MML. The ministry said a Pakistani security agency has also recommended that the MML will "would breed violence and extremism in politics."
MML spokesman Tabish Qayyum responded to the letter, calling it unlawful and rejected allegations that the party was linked to militant groups. "MML isn't a bus or truck which needs registration," Qayyum said.