Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed has fielded his son and son-in-law as candidates in the July 25 general elections in Pakistan, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The Milli Muslim League (MML), the political wing of Saeed's banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), has fielded 260 candidates for the national and provincial polls under the umbrella of little known outfit 'Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek', Dawn newspaper reported.
The final list has 79 candidates for the National Assembly and 181 for four provincial assemblies. It includes the names of Hafiz Talha Saeed, son of Hafiz Saeed, (for NA-91), the report said.
Talha is contesting from NA-91 seat from Sargodha (about 200-km from Lahore), the home town of Saeed.
Saeed's son-in-law, Khalid Waleed, is a candidate in PP-167. These candidates are contesting under the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek banner because the election commission has denied registration to the MML.
The Tehreek was registered with the ECP in 2011 and it got the election symbol after 2013.
Interestingly, the list has 10 female candidates for general seats along with three for reserved seats, the report said. Saeed, who also carries a USD 10 million American bounty on his head for his role in terror activities, is not contesting the election. Party spokesman, Ahmed Nadeem Awan, said that apart from the five per cent quota for female candidates made mandatory by the Election Act, the party has given tickets to women out of conviction, not compulsion.
"The party could have granted tickets to housewives and satisfied the ECP condition," Awan told the newspaper.
"We have given tickets to candidates considering their political background and fighting spirit. They include lawyers, doctors and professionals from other fields who have been office-bearers in other parties and have recently joined the MML," he said.
The party has fielded 36 National Assembly candidates from the Punjab, 29 from Sindh, 28 from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 14 from Balochistan and eight from Fata. It has put up five candidates in Karachi and four in Lahore.
The MML seems to have carefully chosen constituencies for female candidates all of them have been fielded in major cities (Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad) to dilute its far-right image and make it attractive to the urban middle class, the report said. According to the party spokesman, the women wing of the party would be in the forefront of the election campaign because they have access to homes.
The JuD had formed MML when Saeed was under detention by the Punjab government in Lahore. 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 was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014. The group is a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group that carried out the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack.