ECP dismisses Milli Muslim League’s request to register as political party

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday rejected an application of the Milli Muslim League (MML), seeking its registration as a political party, over alleged links with militant organizations.

A four member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner in a short order said that till security clearance from the Ministry of Interior, the process of registration of MML as political party could not be completed.

The MML had filed an application with the ECP for its recognition as a political party. The Ministry of Interior in a letter to the ECP, had asked the election body to ban the party for having alleged links with banned militant outfits.

The Chief Election Commissioner, who headed a bench of ECP, observed that the Ministry’s reservations are of serious nature, which needed to be addressed first before the party’s registration. The CEC pointed out that the Ministry had reservations with regard to the party’s links with banned militant outfits, adding that the party should approach the Ministry to address them.

Earlier, Advocate Raja Abdur Rehman, who represented the party, in his arguments denied that party had links with any proscribed outfit and said the party has fulfilled all legal requirements for registration. “Under which law should the party approach interior ministry when all legal requirements laid down by the Commission for registration of a political party have been fulfilled,” he argued.

The party was suspected to be backed by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been placed under the house arrest.

The United Nations Security Council had banned the JuD, declaring it a terrorist organisation in December 2008. The US State Department had termed the party a foreign terrorist organisation.