Dedicates 2018 for Kashmiris ‘who are struggling for freedom’
LAHORE: JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on Sunday confirmed that his outfit Jammat-ud-Dawah will foray into Pakistan’s political scene by contesting the 2018 general elections under the banner of Milli Muslim League, which is yet to be registered with the country’s Election Commission.
Saeed, who was under house arrest since January this year, walked free on November 24 after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any other case.
“The Milli Muslim League (MML) is planning to contest next year’s general elections. I also dedicate 2018 for Kashmiris who are struggling for freedom,” Saeed said while meeting a group of columnists at the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) headquarters in Chauburji here.
The JuD, a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, formed MML at the time when Saeed was detained in Lahore. The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba also vowed to continue supporting Kashmiris.
“I want to tell India that I will continue to support Kashmiris no matter what kind of difficulties are there. India wants us to stop raising voice for the Kashmiris. It is building pressure on the Pakistani government. I want to tell Pakistan that back channel diplomacy only caused harm to the Kashmir cause,” he alleged.
Saeed also claimed that his detention in Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders in India was part of an international agenda.
“This had been done to harm the Kashmir cause. India is angry over my release from the house detention. I warn India if it does not stop atrocities against Kashmiris then this struggle will rise further and it will face the music,” he alleged.
Last September when Saeed was under house arrest in Lahore, the JuD entered in the political arena and contested the by-poll from Lahore’s NA-120.
The National Assembly seat had fallen vacant after the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. His wife Kulsoom Nawaz had won that seat.
Sheikh Yaqoob, a JuD-backed candidate who secured 6,000 votes, had announced that the JuD which has the blessing of Saeed would contest the 2018 elections.
Saeed and his four aides Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain were placed under house arrest in Lahore on January 30 under anti- terrorism act.
The JuD has been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
India had expressed outrage over the judicial board’s decision to release Saeed, calling it an attempt by Pakistan to “mainstream proscribed terrorists and a reflection of its continuing support to non-state actors”.
Saeed has now filed the petition to de-list him from the UN list of designated terrorists.