Pakistan ministry seeks ban on new party backed by prominent Islamist

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s inside ministry has referred to as for the electoral fee to bar from politics a brand new get together backed by an Islamist with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, a authorities doc seen by Reuters confirmed on Thursday.

In a letter dated Sept. 22, the ministry beneficial that the Election Fee of Pakistan reject the newly shaped Milli Muslim League’s (MML) software to grow to be an official get together as it’s “affiliated” with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai assaults that killed 166 folks.

“The registration of MML is just not supported,” the ministry stated within the two-page doc.

Spokesmen for the election fee and the inside ministry acknowledged the correspondence and confirmed that the letter was genuine.

The US has designated LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, who at the moment heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity, a terrorist. It views him because the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai assaults and has supplied a $10 million reward for data resulting in his imprisonment.

Saeed is at the moment below home arrest. Pakistan’s reluctance to press prices towards him has been a sore level in relations with Washington and India over the previous decade.

The ministry stated MML is “ideologically of the identical hue” as LeT and its affiliated charities Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insanyat Basis (FIF).

Tabish Qayyum, a spokesman for the MML, stated in a press release that the ministry’s letter was illegal.

“MML isn’t a bus or truck which wants registration,” he stated, denying that MML had hyperlinks with any banned militant group.

The ministry’s stance seems at odds with what political sources and a retired military basic have stated is a plan proposed by the army’s Inter Providers Intelligence (ISI) to ‘mainstream’ some Pakistan-based anti-Indian militant teams as a part of deradicalization efforts by bringing them into politics.

The inside ministry’s letter was written per week after MML brought on a stir by profitable 5 p.c of votes in a parliamentary by-election in Lahore on Sept. 17.

The doc stated international nations have raised diplomatic objections to MML’s existence and the inside ministry has sought the opinions of intelligence companies on the group.

One of many companies, the ministry stated, has warned towards letting proscribed and monitored organizations enter politics with a view to gaining legitimacy.

The inside ministry stated the safety company has knowledgeable it that “given the clamor, philosophy, outreach and modus operandi to function, it’s tough to consider that MML will tread its personal path utterly at variance with its mom group.”

“Subsequently, they’ve beneficial that because the registration of such teams would breed violence and extremism in politics, as such registration of such teams be averted.”

Within the Lahore by-election, Yaqoob Sheikh, who swears loyalty to Saeed, stood as an unbiased candidate however was backed by MML and had Saeed’s colleagues working his marketing campaign.

Saeed’s portraits adorned posters selling Sheikh, who the USA has additionally designated a terrorist and a senior LeT commander.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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