Washington: In a major setback to Hafiz Saeed’s political ambitions, the US today designated the Milli Muslim League (MML), as a “foreign terrorist organization”.
In a simultaneous move, seven members of the MML’s central leadership body have been designated as “foreign terrorists”.
The move comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the MML to produce a clearance certificate by the interior ministry for its registration as a political party.
General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan in July.
Pakistan’s election commission had earlier rejected the MML’s application for registration as a political party after the interior ministry objected to its ties to banned militant outfits.
“Both MML and TAJK are LeT fronts created to circumvent the sanctions against it (LeT)…Today’s amendments take aim at LeT’s efforts to circumvent sanctions and deceive the public about its true character,” said Nathan A Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State.
“Make no mistake: whatever LeT chooses to call itself, it remains a violent terrorist group. The US supports all efforts to ensure that LeT does not have a political voice until it gives up violence as a tool of influence,” Sales said.
“LeT continues to operate freely within Pakistan, holding public rallies, raising funds, and plotting and training for terrorist attacks,” the State Department said.
“LeT members make up MML’s leadership and the so-called party openly displays Saeed’s likeness in its election banners and literature,” the State Department said. PTI