A debate was initiated in the country last year when Milli Muslim League (MML), which enjoys the approval of the chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), Hafiz Muhammad Saeed announced to take part in the elections. It was topic of hot discussion that should the parties associated with the extremist outfits, which have been declared terrorists by United Nations, be allowed to enter into politics in a bid to mainstream them.
Election Commissions of Pakistan had asked directions of Interior Ministry in order to register MML as political party. Officials at interior ministry are still considering what to decide on the issue. Amidst all this, US Department of State on Monday updated its list of individual terrorists, naming seven members of the MML leadership as LeT activists who were acting in MML on behalf of LeT. Not only this, the United Nations Security Council’s updated list of terrorist individuals and entities includes 139 entries from Pakistan and few members of MML are also included in the list, obviously Hafiz Saeed is one of them.
These developments have made it next to impossible for MML to get registered itself as a political party with ECP. Interior Ministry was already reluctant to give nod in favour of registering MML as a political party, now it should not be hard for the officials to make a decision. Islamabad High Court had ordered ECP to give the MML a chance of hearing. ECP has adjourned the hearing of MML’s case until next month.
After the most recent move of US officials and UNSC it seems very unlikely that MML would be given chance to enter into the politics. Many security analysts had already termed it playing with fire if parties associated with extremis and militancy provided with opportunity to form political parties. Some in favour of mainstreaming such parties provide bizarre argument that if these parties are not included in the mainstream politics it would be hard to keep them away from engaging in extremist activities.
In the midst of all such confusion, whether MML has the right to operate as a political party or not, it seems certain that it is not going to get nod of interior ministry and ECP to be registered as a political party.
It seems very unlikely that MML will be registered with ECP as political party.