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Should Milli Muslim League (MML) be registered as a political party?

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News Analysis |

The government of Pakistan has opposed the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML) as a political party with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The interior ministry citing the security agencies report expressed apprehension against the political ambitions of the party.

It termed MML as a branch of the banned outfit, Jamatud Dawa (JuD). In a written reply to Islamabad High Court (IHC) on pending verdict on MML’s registration case, interior ministry showed grave concerns about the religious entity. MML is allegedly a political wing of the Jamatud Dawa (JuD).

Putting the full stop on political ambitions of Saeed, JuD and MML can generate positive and favorable outcome regarding releasing the international pressure over Pakistan inability to tackle extremism in the country.

Interior ministry in its explanation to IHC said that after consultation with the country’s intelligence agencies said it reached an informed conclusion regarding the future of MML. The ministry claimed that is was highly probable that MML would work at the behest of its parent organization – JuD.  Since this party is expected to breed extremism in the political landscape of the country, it should not be allowed to participate in politics.

Read more: Former MQM-P member joins Pak Sarzameen Party

Moreover, it does not fulfill the specific acts of Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002. According to chapter II of the act- formation of political parties, a political party shall not:

  1. propagate any opinion, or act in a manner prejudicial to the fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  2. undermine the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or public morality or indulge in terrorism; or
  3. promote sectarian, regional or provincial hatred or, animosity; or
  4. bear a name as a militant group or section or assign appointment titles to its leaders or office-bearers which connote leadership of armed groups; or
  5. impart any military or para-military training to its members or other persons.

Based on these requirements-as pointed by the interior ministry, JuD did not qualify under the registration criterion set for the establishment and registration of the political party in Pakistan. 

Pakistan has remained unsuccessful in mounting same pressure on India for its involvement in Baluchistan to sabotage CPEC and economic progress of Pakistan.

Earlier, MML had filed a petition in court in IHC against the ECP’s order on October 11th in which it declined the registration of MML as a political party. A four-member bench head by the ECP’s chairman Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan issued a short notice which dismissed the application of MML as a political party. 

Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat [another offshoot and charitable organization of JuD] were put on the United Nations watch list in December 2008 and March 2012, respectively; after Indian pressure accusing them of being behind the November 2008 Mumbai attack.

Read more: More PML-N lawmakers leaving the party piles the pressure on Sharif…

JuD has been under intense scrutiny and was added in the second schedule of ATA 1997 in January 2017. Moreover,Pakistan had banned the Jud’s Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’ earlier.

After the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by Apex Court in Panama Paper case, MML-backedcandidate Yaqoob Sheikh secured 5,822 votes in the by-election in National Assembly (NA)-120 in Lahore. It created an uproar across the country with liberal commentators lamented over this participation of this outfit in polls.

Based on these requirements-as pointed by the interior ministry, JuD did not qualify under the registration criterion set for the establishment and registration of the political party in Pakistan. 

In the changing landscape of Pakistan’s politics, lots of religious parties are seeking active participation in the political affairs of the country.  Numerous different factions with different ambitions and demands are challenging and threatening the balance of power and some say unity in the country. 

However, the Pakistani establishment, faces additional pressure over accepting MML as a political party.  As an offshoot of JUD, according to Indian media, the USA is mulling over adding MML to a list of organizations that use terrorism to promote their agenda.

India is still seeking the arrest of Hafiz Saeed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The US, United Nations and India have declared him terrorist for his alleged meddling in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and involvement in 26/11 attacks.

Read more: PML-N : A Private Limited Company or a Political Party ?

JuD has been under intense scrutiny and was added in the second schedule of ATA 1997 in January 2017. Moreover,Pakistan had banned the Jud’s Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir’ earlier.

Indian diplomatic channels continue to pressurize Pakistan over Saeed. His house arrest and eventual release and political ambitions unsettle India and US. India continuous to see him as a significant threat in IOK.  The first statement made by Hafiz Saeed after his release from house arrest he vowed to continue his struggle to free Kashmir from Indian occupation.

Pakistan has remained unsuccessful in mounting same pressure on India for its involvement in Baluchistan to sabotage CPEC and economic progress of Pakistan.

Putting the full stop on political ambitions of Saeed, JuD and MML can generate positive and favorable outcome regarding releasing the international pressure over Pakistan inability to tackle extremism in the country.

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