Prime News, International (Washington), April 2:- In a major setback to Hafiz Saeed’s political ambitions, the US designated the Milli Muslim League (MML), the political front of Pakistan-based Mumbai attack mastermind-led Jamaat-ud Dawa, as a foreign terrorist organisation. In a simultaneous move, seven members of the MML’s central leadership body have been designated as foreign terrorists.
The US also added Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) to the list of terrorist groups. TAJK is said to be a front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which according to the Trump administration, continues to operate freely inside Pakistan. The move comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the MML to produce a clearance certificate by the interior ministry for its registration as a political party. General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan in July.
Pakistan’s election commission had earlier rejected the MML’s application for registration as a political party after the interior ministry objected to its ties to banned militant outfits.
The State Department said the move was aimed at denying the LeT resources it needs to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. “Both MML and TAJK are LeT fronts created to circumvent the sanctions against it (LeT)…Today’s amendments take aim at LeT’s efforts to circumvent sanctions and deceive the public about its true character,” said Nathan A Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State.
“Make no mistake: whatever LeT chooses to call itself, it remains a violent terrorist group. The US supports all efforts to ensure that LeT does not have a political voice until it gives up violence as a tool of influence,” Sales said.
Among other consequences of the designations, LeT’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group. “LeT continues to operate freely within Pakistan, holding public rallies, raising funds, and plotting and training for terrorist attacks,” the State Department said. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).