Lahore: The Pakistan-based terrorist Hafiz Saeed shamelessly opened an office of his political party, the Milli Muslim League (MML) in Lahore on Sunday. Apart from this, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind also visited the different area of NA-120, which is a Pakistan National Assembly constituency in Lahore.

The Pakistani media ‘Dawn’ reported that the terrorist was showered with rose petals even as crowds cheered him in Kasurpura, Chaudhry Park, and Outfall Road. However, earlier the Pakistan Interior Ministry opposed the entry of banned entities in politics and the country’s election commission refused to register MML as a political party.

Significantly, MML is essentially a branch of Saeed’s terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is banned in Pakistan and considered a terror group by the United States (US) as well. It is also affiliated with Saeed’s ‘charitable front’, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

Earlier in October, MML challenged Pakistan’s Election Commission order in the Islamabad High Court. Then earlier in December, the Interior Ministry requested the court to not consider MML’s plea, as it was an extension of LeT and JuD. Therefore, it shouldn’t be registered as a political party. The ministry further said the court that a security agency has advised that the “registration of such groups would breed violence and extremism in politics”.

In the by-polls for NA-120 in September in 2017, the MML-backed candidate gained the 4th position with the votes double than the tally of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Jamaat-i-Islami combined. This seat came vacant when the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to resign as he had been disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Saeed was released from the house arrest late in November by Lahore Court. This act has been strongly condemned by the US and India. A few days ago, the US strongly rebuked Pakistan and further reminded the country and the world as well that there is a US reward of $10 million for Saeed.

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