Pakistan High Court clears way for terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s political party to contest elections

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued an order that helps the Milli Muslim League (MML) to register with the Pakistan Election Commission as a political party to contest the upcoming general elections in 2018.

The Milli Muslim League is the political party founded by Hafiz Saeed, The leader of Jamat-ul-Dawa (JuD) terror organisation and the mastermind behind the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11. Saeed is also featured in the United Nation terror blacklist.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had taken a decision in October 2017 not to allow the MML to register as a political party after objections from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry. According to reports, the Islamabad High Court’s decision yesterday clears the way for MML to register itself for the upcoming elections.

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This decision has come barely a day after the Lahore High Court extended a stay order on the  ‘possible arrest’ of Hafiz Saeed till April 4. Hafiz Saeed had moved the court in anticipation that the Pakistan authorities might put him under house arrest again under pressure from the US.

This decision has evoked severe criticism in India.

According to a statement issued by the MML, Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC has issued an order to the Pakistan Election Commission to register the party. The Pakistan government is yet to comment on the development. Pakistan is under tremendous pressure from the US to take action against terror organisations operating in the country. Both the JuD and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, which are headed by Hafiz Saeed are declared as fronts of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) by the United States and the UN security council.

The US has also declared a bounty of USD 10 Million over Hafiz Saeed. Pakistan had put Saeed under house arrest for about 10 months owing to pressure from the US and also had raided some of its properties and offices.

The US has also withheld defence aid for Pakistan accusing it of failing to crack down on terror groups. The US has also backed the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to put Pakistan on its ‘Grey list’ for not taking strict measure to curb terrorism.

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