Pakistan court clears way for registration of Saeed's political party
The Islamabad High Court on Thursday set aside a decision by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reject the application of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Milli Muslim League (MML) as a political party. The order came days after a Pakistani court extended a stay against the "possible arrest" of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief till 4 April.
Court gives party an opportunity of hearing
Justice Aamer Farooq sent the case back to the ECP asking it to proceed further with the application by giving the party an opportunity of hearing. MML president Saifullah Khalid approached the IHC and made the ECP and the Interior Secretary respondents in the matter. Challenging the ECP's order, the petition described it unreasonable, illegal as well as against the Constitution and the law.
Ban on MML for having links with banned militant outfits
The petitioner prayed to the court to set aside the order and direct the ECP to scrutinize the documents afresh, strictly in accordance with the law and enlist the party. The ECP had turned down MML's plea on the basis of a letter from the Ministry of Interior which asked the commission to ban MML because of its alleged links with banned militant outfits.
Saeed designated as a global terrorist
The court's latest order also comes in the backdrop of a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental money-laundering watchdog, that put Pakistan on a grey list. At the FATF meeting, Saeed and his "charities" were top on the list of groups that FATF wanted Pakistan to act against. The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a global terrorist.