Pakistan’s election authorities have refused to register the Milli Muslim League (MML) for next month’s elections, alleging it has links to a group blamed for deadly terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.
The Election Commission of Pakistan on June 13 said it had denied permission the MML to run in the July 25 national poll after the Interior Ministry refused to clear the group.
The ministry told the commission that the party adhered to the ideology of Hafiz Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, which India and the United States blame for the series of attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people in November 2008.
Saeed, who has denied involvement in the attacks, has been designated as a “terrorist” by the United Nations.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who is believed to be living in Pakistan.
The MML was founded in 2017 by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) charity, which officials allege has links to Saeed. Pakistani officials banned the charity in February.
In April, the United States added the MML to its list of foreign terrorist organizations for its alleged links to LeT, claiming it was operating as a front for the group, which is also on the U.S. terrorist list.
The State Department at the time called the MML “an alias” of the LeT, which it said was responsible for the Mumbai attacks along with the killings of “dozens of Indian security forces and civilians in recent years.”
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.