US declared MML LeT affiliate at India’s behest: party leaders

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The recent US State Department move identifying the Milli Muslim League (MML) and Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) affiliates has left MML and TAJK leaders stunned.

MML leaders will come together at an emergency meeting today to analyse the situation, a party leader told Express News. He said those present would discuss how to further party agenda and facilitate Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom. The MML leader said all decisions will be taken in accordance with the law.

The fact that the TAJK has also been listed as an LeT affiliate has left MML leaders particularly curious. The movement is not registered. It is just a small group of people striving for Kashmiris’ rights, he said.

Pakistan had proscribed the TAJK earlier, the MML leader said. He said Jamaatud Dawa supremo Hafiz Saeed’s move to declare 2017 as the year of Kashmir had left India vexed. The MML leader blamed the United State-India nexus for the move.

Even the MML has not been registered as a political party, he said. The MML leader said the matter remained pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The hearing is scheduled for May 2. The US declared the MML an LeT affiliate before our case was heard. This is representative of Indian machinations, he said.

The MML leader said India had been using the US to further its anti-Pakistan agenda. He said the United Nations (UN) was expected to follow in their footsteps, if speculation was to be believed, making it impossible for the MML to register as a political party.

MML Information Secretary Tabish Qayyum told the media that the American move undermined Pakistan’s national sovereignty and constituted a blatant violation of human rights. The MML operates in accordance with the Constitution. The US has no right to interfere in internal Pakistani matters and label political forces and individuals terrorists,” he said.

Qayyum said the MML condemned violence in all its forms and wanted to make Pakistani society more tolerant and progressive. Pakistani courts have accepted the fact that no MML office bearers had a criminal record. He also accused the US of running a campaign of misinformation and propaganda.

Depriving people of political freedom will disrupt the democratic process, Qayyum added. He said those levelling allegations against the MML ought to back them up with evidence. Once done, we will take legal recourse, he said. Qayyum also accused the Interior Ministry of having an anti-MML bias.

“We are ready to clarify any misconceptions.The people of Pakistan strongly condemn these allegations and only hold the Constitution supreme,” he concluded.

The US Department of State amended its designation of LeT on Monday. Identifying the MML and TAJK as LeT affiliates, the US move made it impossible for them to register as political parties in the country.

The Department of State amended the designation of LeT to include the aliases MML and TAJK. “The aliases have been added to LeT’s designations as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224,” read a statement of the State Department.