Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD) will contest the upcoming general elections in Pakistan on the platform of Allaha-u-Akbar-Tehreek (AAT), a dormant political entity as the group's Milli Muslim League is yet to be registered as a political party.
"It was a kind of dormant party registered by a citizen Ehsan. There are several such parties registered with the ECP and such an arrangement is made ahead of the general elections if any mainstream party or organisation faces any issue or complication," a member of the JuD told .
"Since the Milli Muslim League (MML) fails to get registered with the ECP it is going for this arrangement (contesting the upcoming polls on AAT platform)," he said.
MML president Saifullah Khalid will make a formal announcement regarding this shortly, he added.
The AAT's election symbol is 'chair'. "Now the JuD/MML candidates will contest on the 'chair' symbol across the country," the member said.
He said since the MML has hardly any chance to get registered with the ECP as it had announced the election schedule and issued election symbols, it had no other option but to contest the election on any 'dormant' entity like AAT or support the Mutahidda Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of mainstream religious parties of the country.
"But Saeed chose to contest independently," he said.
The MML has also confirmed contesting the July 25 election on the 'chair' symbol.
"We have decided to support the candidates of AAT in July 25 elections," MML President Saifullah Khalid told .
"We will play a role in the victory of those contesting on the symbol of chair. To save Pakistan, patriotic people should be supported in the elections," he said.
Khalid said the MML had been denied registration in the ECP for the last 11 months but will take part in the polls by supporting the candidates of AAT.
"Meanwhile we will continue fighting our case (registration of MML) in the court and ECP," he added.
The MML president said over 350 political parties were registered with the ECP but there are objection regarding the MML.
"I ask the MML workers to get ready and make full preparations across the country to make the AAT candidates successful in the upcoming elections. We have to serve humanity and no one can stop us from our political struggle," he said.
Meanwhile, the MML has filed a contempt of court petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the ECP for using delaying tactics regarding its enlisting as a political party as per law. June 11 is fixed for the case hearing in the IHC.
The court in March had set aside the ECP order declining registration of the MML.
Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC bench had referred the matter to the ECP, directing the electoral body to pass a speaking order.
The MML had challenged the October 11 order of the ECP declining registration to the MML as a political party allegedly on the behest of the interior ministry.
The interior ministry had opposed enlisting of the MML as a political party arguing it's an offshoot of the JuD of Hafiz Saeed banned under a UN resolution.
Saaed founded the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1990s. But when it was banned after insistence from India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, he revived a much older organisation, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in 2002. While Saeed maintains JuD is a charity organisation, the UN Security Council banned it as a terror organization and declared Saeed a terrorist after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Hafiz Saeed launched his political party the Milli Muslim League last year. The party made its political debut in the NA-120 bye-election, where its candidate Yaqoob Sheikh secured the fourth position. On April 2, the US Department State designated the MML along with Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir as aliases of the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hafiz Saaed also carries a USD 10 million American bounty on his head for his role in terror activities.
Earlier in December last year, shortly after his release from house arrest, Hafiz Saeed announced that his party would contest the 2018 national elections. General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan on July 25, 2018.