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Pakistan Gives in to International Pressure, Opposes Registration of Hafiz Saeed's Party

Pakistan's Interior Ministry wrote to this effect to the country's election commission on Tuesday, citing international pressure and the refusal of security clearance by intelligence agencies.

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Updated:September 27, 2017, 12:21 PM IST
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Pakistan Gives in to International Pressure, Opposes Registration of Hafiz Saeed's Party
In this file photo, a supporter of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), carries a photograph of 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan. (Image: Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
New Delhi: In a blow to 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan government has opposed the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML), the political wing of his terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD).

Pakistan's Interior Ministry wrote to this effect to the country's election commission on Tuesday, citing "international pressure" and the "refusal of security clearance by intelligence agencies".

In the letter, the Interior Ministry said the JuD and its "charity wing" Falah-i-Insaaniyat are under sanctions both at home and internationally, and that "some countries" had raised the issue "diplomatically".

The Milli Muslim League was launched on August 8 and backed a candidate in the recently held bypoll for NA-120 Lahore, the seat vacated by deposed Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The by-election was won by Sharif's wife Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, but Milli Muslim League managed 5% of the votes.

According to a Reuters report, the party's launch was in line with a plan put forward by the Pakistani military last year to mainstream militant groups.

Three government officials and close Sharif confidants with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters that the military's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) presented proposals for "mainstreaming" some militant groups in a meeting last year. They said that Sharif had opposed the "mainstreaming" plan, which senior military figures and some analysts see as a way of steering ultra-religious groups away from violent jihad.

The MML denies its political ambitions were engineered by the military.
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