ECP dismisses MML's plea to register as political party

Earlier this year, the US had added the Milli Muslim League to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday dismissed the request of Milli Muslim League (MML)to register as a political party.

MML has been struggling to register as a political party since 2017. The ECP had directed the party to obtain a security clearance certificate from the Ministry of Interior last year when it had applied for registration. 

Earlier this year, the United States added MML along with Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO), reasoning that both were fronts for banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

"The aliases [MML and TAJK] have been added to LeT’s designations as an FTO under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224," said the US State Department.

MML's foray into Pakistani politics

The MML was formed last year and had made an impressive show at the NA-120 by-election in Lahore, where its supported candidate gained the fourth place. Candidates backed by the party — since it is yet to be registered as a political party — had made similar gains in subsequent by-elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The ECP had rejected the party's plea to get registered on the ground that its supremo, Hafiz Saeed, is a globally listed terrorist whereas organisations run under his influence, Jamaatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, were designated as banned organisations via a presidential ordinance.

That decision of the ECP was overturned by the Islamabad High Court which directed it to hear the party's plea properly and then decide the case.