(G.N.S.) Dt. 25
Pakistan-based terrorist and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed brazenly opened an office of his political party, the Milli Muslim League (MML), in Lahore on Sunday, reported Dawn newspaper. Not just that, Saeed – on whose head the US has a $10 million bounty – also visited different areas of NA-120, which is a Pakistan National Assembly constituency in Lahore. Through his visit, Dawn reported that the terrorist was showered with rose petals even as crowds cheered him.
All of this, despite the Pakistan interior ministry opposing the entry of banned entities in politics, and despite the country’s election commission refusing to register MML as a political party+ .
MML is essentially an offshoot of Saeed’s terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is banned in Pakistan and considered a terror group by the US as well. By extension, the MML is also affiliated with Saeed’s ‘charitable front’, the Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD). The 2008 Mumbai terror attack, in which 168 people were killed, was carried out by LeT terrorists.
In October, MML challenged the Pakistan’s election commission order in the Islamabad high court. Then, the interior ministry earlier this month requested the court to not consider MML’s plea, because it was an extension of LeT and JuD and therefore shouldn’t be registered as a political party. The ministry further told the court that a security agency has advised that the “registration of such groups (like MML) would breed violence and extremism in politics”.
In September, an MML-backed candidate came in at fourth place in a by-election in Lahore’s NA-120 constituency. This seat came vacant when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had to resign, following his disqualification by Pakistan’s supreme court.
Saeed, meanwhile, was released from house arrest late last month, to condemnation by the US and India. Just last week, the US in a strongly-worded rebuke, sought to remind Pakistanis and the world that there’s a US reward of $10 million for Saeed.
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