Islamabad, June 14: With elections in Pakistan just weeks away, the country’s Election Commission has rejected an application by Hafiz Saeed’s Milli Muslim League (MML) to register it as a political party, said media reports. MML is the political front of Saeed’s Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD).

A report in The Times of India said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was asked by the Islamabad high court (IHC) to review its last years’ decision through which it rejected MML’s registration bid. Headed by Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, a four-member bench of the commission on Wednesday decided against allowing the MML to be registered as a political party. The bench said that the decision had been taken in light of the Ministry of Interior’s contention that the party had links with the banned JuD leader Saeed. (Also read: Hafiz Saeed Aide Incites Friday Prayer Crowd)

The Interior ministry had opposed enlisting of the MML as a political party as it was an offshoot of the banned JuD. On its part, the MML denied that it had any links with the JuD or with Saeed. It said that former ruling Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz and its leadership was behind the rejection of the application by ECP. The MML was launched last August to contest the July 25 elections. Saeed was already campaigning for the MML since last month.

Recent reports had revealed that Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and the top leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi have been recruiting and training boys, between the age group of 15-20, to support and aide terror activities in India, a captured Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Zaibullah revealed. Zaibullah alias Hamza, who was captured in April 2018, revealed that the boys are trained and looked after for two years by the seven-tier hierarchy at various locations in Pakistan and Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir.